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Schools should mark students’ work ‘incomplete’ rather than ‘failing’ [Letter]

I am writing the Harford County Board of Education to ask that the “fail” option be eliminated for fourth-quarter grades and that “pass” or “incomplete” be the only options.

Language is powerful and no student should end the school year thinking they have failed. There are a multitude of reasons that may contribute to a student’s lack of work, including no instructional support at home, financial and emotional stress in the home, and depression.

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Students’ social media accounts are flooded with memes about the “apocalypse” and our society is in massive turmoil. These students have not “failed” by neglecting to turn in work as they navigate heavy adult issues at such a vulnerable stage of life.

Please consider granting these students an “incomplete,” which still indicates that work has not been done but takes away the stigma that “failing” implies.

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Thank you for your consideration. I write this not on the behalf of my own children, but with concern about the countywide policy and others it may impact.

CLAUDIA BROWN

Street

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