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Some Lake County schools ban teachers from giving students 0s on assignments

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 found some schools in Lake County have banned teachers from giving zeroes to students on their assignments, but the teachers claim it's not helping prepare their students for real life.

The ban is going on at Gray Middle School and others in Lake County, according to Channel 9's Lori Brown.

The average between a 90 and a 50 is a C, but the average between a 90 and a 0 is an F, so the district says zeroes unfairly punish students.

"It seems like this might teach kids that there aren't any consequences," Brown said to Lake County spokesperson Chris Patton.

"There's definitely consequences," said Patton. "More importantly, it teaches kids we want them to succeed, we want them to do well."

A teacher concerned about the ban gave WFTV a copy of an email that went out earlier this month. The email said, "No grades lower than a 50 per administration."

"It's overly negative to the student," said Patton. "I know you're trying to compare it to the real world, which we do want, but we also want students to have the opportunity to make changes and have second chances."

But when Channel 9 asked parents what they thought in Lake County and on Facebook, most felt like students should receive zeroes if a teacher believed that's what they deserved.

"I think it's reality. A zero is reality," said parent Chris Fish.

Parent Tony Madaris said getting zeroes as a student gave him a wakeup call.

"It made me realize I didn't know everything I thought I did, and I need to try harder," he said.

The district emphasizes teachers can still give out Fs, but those grades will be worth 50 points instead of none.

Principals at all Lake County schools, including high schools, are allowed to issue bans on zeroes, but the district would not tell Channel 9 which schools actually ban them.