Standing up for yourself!

download (10)I was so proud of my son this week. He has just started secondary school (in September) and they were given a plan of homework to be set each day – so for instance, English homework on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Science on Mondays and Wednesdays. HOWEVER….his maths teacher kept giving them homework whenever she felt like it and not according to the plan.

Freddy went along with this for a while but he was getting angry and frustrated. It meant he had to stay up really late, struggling to the get the extra maths homework finished along with all the other homework he was set. And no one said anything! They were all too scared.

And then last week, his form teacher did a lesson about civil uprisings and how change can be made in a democracy! Freddy sat up and listened. She talked about petitions and suddenly he knew what he had to do.

The next day he started a  petition…


29 out of the 31 children in his class signed it!

He took it up to his form teacher to show her…he said he was scared he might get in to trouble but he felt it was the right thing to do.

The form teacher looked at the petition and this was her response.

Freddy, I’m impressed with what you’ve done but it wouldn’t be the right thing to go marching off to Mrs _______ and show her this petition. However, I’m going to show it to the head of year and make sure something gets done about it.

Later on that day Freddy was summoned to the head of year. He asked Freddy to show him his homework planner and to explain when they were getting extra homework. He then emailed the offending maths teacher in front of Freddy and sent it off to her, simply pointing out that maths homework should be set on the specific maths homework days only.

His class were euphoric and grateful….

When Freddy told us he thought we might be cross.

But we weren’t cross at all…


Have you ever stood up for something you believe in?

Have you faced up to someone who was doing something wrong?

It’s difficult and scary and you won’t always get the positive response Freddy got…


15 thoughts on “Standing up for yourself!

  1. Wonderful story! I’d be proud if he was mine. I like the the response from his form teacher and head of year too, no drama, just dealing with it quietly and correctly. Well done Freddy!

    • I’ve worked in primary schools all my adult life and mostly children are NOT encouraged to speak out against injustice…it’s seen as cheeky or rude. Both my sons left primary school thinking they would get in to trouble if they told a teacher how they really felt about something…it used to frustrate me so much when I saw how reluctant they were to speak out, it was always up to me or my husband to ‘talk to the teacher’ We should be teaching our young people that their voices will be heard!

  2. Wow on so many levels. First off, wow Freddy, well done in standing up for justice. Second, well done to the form teacher and the head of the year for dealing with the situation in a way that was meant to both address the injustice without creating more dissension. Thank you for sharing this story! You should consider writing a fictional account of it, to help delve into the concepts more 😉

  3. That is so great what Freddy did. I would never have the courage to do that but it’s good to know that other people do 😀 Last year in tech, there was a group of posters of famous inventors stuck on the wall and I pointed out to my tech teacher that none of them were women and asked why. The next week he had got his year tens to make some for some women inventors and stuck them up too and it made me really happy 🙂

  4. that’s amazing Faolan and just the sort of thing that should happen (although the women inventors should’ve been up there from the start! I think as a child and young adult I was always very aware of injustice, even if it was something very small and I had the sort of parents who would say too bad just put up with it but I want my two boys to speak out if they think something is unfair as long as they learn to do it in a constructive way and Freddy’s experience will really help him next time he sees something happening that he feels is wrong.

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