School supplies are a common but unwelcome expense for all parents of school-aged children, especially at the start of every new academic year. But what if your child’s teacher expects you to provide not only the items your child needs, but also general classroom supplies? And what if they decide to grade your child based on whether or not you can provide them?
That’s the situation that one parent faced when her son started at a new school after they moved. In a viral TikTok video posted by Shanitta Nicole (@shanittanicole) on Sept. 29, she explained how her son got a zero on his report card for not bringing in classroom supplies, such as tissues, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, pencils and other items.
@shanittanicole Am I doing too much? #fyp #school ♬ original sound – Snooze
Shanitta said that she had bought her son everything on the list that he would need for his class, but that his teacher told him that he was also required to turn in classroom supplies or would be graded with a zero. “He’s like, ‘My teachers are gonna give me a zero if I don’t turn in the school supplies, the classroom supplies,’ and I’m like, ‘Why would she give you a zero?’” she said in the video.
According to the TikToker, she bought the classroom supplies anyway, but her son still had a zero for that category. This prompted her to email the teacher and express her concern and disagreement with the policy, but the teacher only replied that she appreciated involved parents and that she would update his grades.
“But she didn’t say nothing about the fact that I said we shouldn’t have to supply your class with supplies. So I emailed the principal because I just, I might be extra, but I just want to see what’s going on. Why do I have to buy supplies for the classroom?” Shanitta concluded.
The video has already garnered more than 822,800 views in just one day, with many viewers going to the comment section to side with the parent.
“Classroom supplies are not graded. She is not to force parents to get it,” one commenter remarked.
“You are not wrong! It is 100% ok for her to ask for supplies, but mandate it for grade? Absolutely not,” another commenter claimed.
“That is so unfair!! Especially for the kids whose parents CANT afford groceries let alone classroom supplies!!!” a third user shared.
In a follow-up TikTok, Shanitta revealed that, following her email, she received a phone call apology from the principal of the school. According to the TikToker, the principal emphasized teachers should be allowed to ask for donations for the class, but that said they should in no way be mandatory or graded.
Reportedly, the principal also said they would forward Shanitta’s email to the teacher’s direct supervisor.
The Daily Dot reached out to Shanitta via TikTok DM seeking further updates on the story.