When Emma Argues With Principal Figgins: Stand Up for Yourself


You’re just getting ready to head to your locker when Principal Figgins steps out of his office and calls your name. Uh oh, what now? As you walk over, your mind races. Did you forget to turn in that permission slip for the field trip? Were you too loud in the cafeteria again? No, as it turns out, Figgins wants to talk to you about the op-ed you submitted to the school paper advocating for later start times. He’s not a fan.

In fact, Figgins forbids you from publishing it. He insists students should follow the rules without question. You try to explain how much research supports later start times for teens, but Figgins won’t budge. His word is final.

You walk out of there fuming. Figgins can’t do this – can he? You know you’re right on this one, and you’re not about to sit down and take his unreasonable demands. It’s time to stand up for yourself and fight for what you believe in. Let’s do this!

Emma Takes a Stand Against Principal Figgins

Emma knew she had to take a stand against Principal Figgins’ plan to cut the arts program budget. His shortsighted decision would deprive students of enrichment and creative expression. Emma marched into his office, prepared to make her case.

“Principal Figgins, cutting the arts budget is unfair to students who find meaning in those programs. For some, theater, music, and art classes are the only reasons they come to school at all.”

Figgins insisted the cuts were necessary due to funding decreases. “There’s nothing I can do. My hands are tied.”

Emma refused to accept that excuse. “There are always alternatives if you look for them. Have you considered fundraising from private donors or applying for grants? The arts shape lives and society – they’re worth fighting for.”

Though Figgins seemed unmoved, Emma’s words resonated with others. Her peers, equally concerned about losing access to arts education, joined together in protest. They organized fundraisers, circulated petitions, and brought awareness to the value of arts in schools.

Thanks to Emma’s willingness to advocate for what she believed in, the arts program was saved. More importantly, she empowered her fellow students to raise their voices against injustice. Emma’s confrontation with Principal Figgins taught her peers that one person taking a stand can make a difference. Collective action and determination in the face of opposition can create change.

Emma’s argument with Principal Figgins was not just about budget cuts or arts programs, but a testament to the power of youth. Her stand against his decision highlighted the struggle for student enrichment against rigid structures. By speaking up, Emma made it possible for others to find their own voices too.

The Heated Argument Between Emma and Figgins

When Emma found out the school was cutting funding for the arts department, she knew she had to take action. Marching into Principal Figgins’ office, Emma launched into a passionate appeal about how shortsighted this decision was.

The Heated Argument Between Emma and Figgins

Emma argued that the arts provide students with creative ways to express themselves and enhance their emotional well-being. Limiting students’ access to artistic outlets could have damaging psychological impacts and hinder their development into well-rounded individuals.

Principal Figgins was not swayed by Emma’s fervent appeal. He cited budgetary constraints and the need to allocate funds to “core” subjects like math and science. While he understood Emma’s perspective, Figgins said his hands were tied. The school board had final say over the budget, and they felt reducing funding for the arts department was necessary.

Emma refused to back down. She contended that music, theater, visual arts and other creative pursuits were just as fundamental to students’ education as any other subject. Limiting opportunities for students to explore their artistic talents and interests could discourage their passion for learning.

After a heated back-and-forth, Emma realized Figgins’ position would not change. But she was proud she took a stand for what she believed in. Emma knew this was an ongoing battle, but she was determined to make evolving schools to meet students’ needs a reality. While this round may have gone to Figgins, Emma felt the fight for arts education was far from over.

Why Emma Felt Compelled to Speak Up

Emma felt compelled to speak up in this situation because she knew it was important to stand up for what she believed in. As a UN Ambassador for women’s rights and gender equality, Emma has advocated for giving women a voice and a platform to share their experiences. She knows that the only way to enact real change is by starting important conversations, even if they’re difficult.

Principal Figgins’ reaction showed Emma that there was still a long way to go in changing mindsets. His implication that the boys couldn’t control themselves blamed the victims rather than the perpetrators. Emma has talked before about how we need to stop making excuses for unacceptable behavior. She believes that if we teach boys from an early age to respect others, it will make a big difference.

Emma also felt the need to speak up to set an example for other students. She knew that if she stayed silent, it would send the message that the principal’s actions were okay. Emma wants young women to feel empowered to stand up for themselves and others in the face of injustice. Her voice as a role model for her generation gives her the opportunity to inspire others through her own actions.

While it can be difficult, confronting authority figures like Principal Figgins is sometimes necessary to enact real change. Emma showed courage, conviction and leadership in advocating for what was right. She refused to accept double standards and let her voice be silenced. Emma proved that one voice can make a difference if you have the bravery to speak up and stand up for your beliefs. Her example demonstrates that together, we can work to build a more just and equitable society.

Lessons We Can Learn From Emma’s Courage

Emma showed immense courage in standing up to Principal Figgins about his unfair treatment of her students. Her actions demonstrate important lessons we can apply in our own lives:

Speak Your Truth

Emma knew Principal Figgins’ new policy was unjust and detrimental to her students. Rather than stay silent, she respectfully voiced her concerns. It can be difficult to speak up against authority figures or policies we disagree with. However, doing so is often necessary to create positive change. Like Emma, we must find the courage to speak our truth, even if our voice shakes.

Stand Up For What’s Right

Emma advocated for her marginalized students despite facing backlash. She refused to be complicit in a system that disadvantaged them. In our daily lives, it’s easy to look the other way in the face of injustice or wrongdoing. But courage means standing up for what’s right, especially when it’s unpopular. We must follow Emma’s lead and stand up against unfairness whenever we see it.

Be Willing to Learn and Grow

Although Emma’s intentions were good, her methods were misguided. Rather than dig her heels in, she accepted Principal Figgins’ criticism with an open mind. Emma demonstrated that courage also means being willing to learn from your mistakes and do better going forward. Like Emma, we should listen with humility when we falter, seek to understand other perspectives, and commit to positive change.

Emma’s courage in advocating for her students teaches us to speak our truth, stand up for what’s right, and remain open to learning. By emulating her example, we can find the strength within ourselves to create positive change. Her story inspires us to be brave in fighting injustice and making a difference.

Have You Ever Argued With an Authority Figure?

Have you ever found yourself in an argument with a teacher, principal or another authority figure? Many kids and teens with ODD frequently clash with those in positions of power over them. It’s normal to feel angry or defensive when you believe you’re being treated unfairly. However, it’s important to stay calm and think before reacting.

You may feel that the authority figure lacks information or has incorrect beliefs that are influencing their judgment. Try to remain polite while standing up for yourself. Calmly and clearly explain your perspective, and provide any evidence to support your position. Say something like, “I understand why you see it that way, but here is what actually happened from my point of view.” Focus on using “I” statements, and try not to accuse or attack the other person.

Consider Compromising

Look for opportunities to compromise when possible. Be willing to listen to the other side, and try to find common ground and solutions you both agree on. For example, suggest an alternative consequence that you think is more fair and appropriate. Come prepared with some options in mind.

However, if you’ve tried your best to have a constructive conversation and aren’t getting anywhere, you may need to accept the authority figure’s decision for now and try again later. As much as you want to argue your case, continuing to be defiant or disrespectful will likely only make the situation worse and damage your relationship further. Staying calm and composed, even when you disagree, will help you gain more credibility and respect in the long run.

With time and experience, dealing with authority figures may get easier. But for now, remember that you have a right to stand up for yourself in a polite, thoughtful way. Focus on compromising and solutions, not accusations. And try to give the other person the benefit of the doubt – they may be under pressures you don’t fully understand. With patience and empathy, you can work through challenging conversations.


So there you have it. Don’t let anyone push you around or make you feel small. You have a right to stand up for yourself respectfully and make your voice heard. Even if it’s scary in the moment, you’ll walk away knowing you did the right thing. Principal Figgins learned that Emma wasn’t going to back down when she knew she was in the right. And you can do the same. Speak your truth, say what needs to be said, and don’t regret it for a second. You’ve got this! Now go out there and make Emma proud. Stand up for yourself and don’t take no for an answer.

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