No-zero policy given failing mark by parents

Parents at Edmonton's Ross Sheppard High School have voted overwhelmingly against the school's no-zero policy.

Parents at Edmonton's Ross Sheppard High School have voted overwhelmingly against the school's no-zero policy.

Parents leave a meeting at Ross Sheppard High School Wednesday. (CBC)

About 50 parents attended a parent council meeting last night to review the ban on giving zeros for assignments not handed in or missed exams.

Parents leaving the meeting, which was closed to the media, told CBC News the policy was vigourously opposed.

"Teachers should be able to assess the students to the best of their ability and if that particular student needs a zero to get them motiviated and to hand assignments in, I think that's a good idea," said parent Sarah Henderson.

"We should be tougher and more strict with our kids because the real world is different from fantasy land," said Guillermo Gonzalez. "When you go to work you don't get warnings so we must teach our kids to be responsible."

The parents drafted a number of recommendations which will be given to the school's new principal.

Principal Mike Suderman, who moved to Ross Sheppard this week, has not said whether he will scrap the no-zero policy which was thrust into the spotlight over the past year as teachers at the school spoke out against it.

At least seven teachers, some recently retired and some who still work there, have opposed the policy.

Physics teacher Lynden Dorval was fired last month after he defied the policy.

Supporters of the no-zero policy say failing to complete assignments is a behavioural issue and marks should reflect ability, not behaviour.

But others believe the policy leaves students with the impression they don't need to be accountable for their actions.