My name is Latifah but everyone calls me Teefa for short. I am 10 years old. My mum is from Nigeria and Latifah is an African name meaning 'gentle'. Clothes are really important to me and my friends and we always get the latest fashion.
At school, I get into trouble for talking too much and being bossy. I don't mean to be naughty, but sometimes I get shy and then I talk too much to cover it up.
It's good to be loud!
Whatever people may tell you there is nothing wrong with being tall and loud. I may get into lots of trouble at school for talking too much and being too loud but having a big voice can be a good thing and help other people in lots of ways.
I am in trouble almost every day at school and, it is usually, for the same reason. I am always being told off for either talking too much or being too loud. I don't think I am loud, it is just that I get very happy about lots of things and when I am happy I'm loud and to show how much I like some thing I have to shout. Mrs Winters, our teacher, should understand this but on most days I find myself outside the classroom in trouble waiting in the corridor. I don't mind too much. I usually miss my friends at that point but there is always some thing to do or some thing to sort out in the corridors.
Every class room faces on to the corridor and on most days I am out there, there is some one from each class waiting, in trouble. The girls in the top class, Sandie and Ella are usually out there. They are very bad. They are always in trouble for being late, for being rude, for shouting, for being mean. I think they are bullies. My mum says, I should try to understand them more. I am not sure what that means when they are always picking on some one, except when they are out there on their own. Then they are very quiet, almost normal, moody and can give you mean looks, but, as I say, almost normal.
Yesterday I was standing in the corridor, just before the break, and for some reason, they were both out there, both in trouble, standing outside the classroom pulling faces at me and each other. I really did not care. I am not scared of them and no one should be. I am taller and they are just as scared of me and every one else when they are on their own.
We all saw Sam Rivers, aged 5, as he squeezed shyly out of the year 2 classroom. He was crying. It must have been the first time the teacher told him to leave the classroom. Ella and Sandie were looking at him laughing and pointing.
"You are in so much trouble now, cry baby." I heard Ella whisper and laugh at him.
Sam hung his head and cried even more.
"Who do you think you are?" I shouted. "Leave Sam alone. You are just bullies. How would you feel if you were only little and on your own in the corridor?"
The girls began to pull faces but before they could even start with the usual insult about my height that follows the line: "What-ev-er Teefa", Mr Freedman put his head around the door:
"Right you two, that is enough insults from you two today. There will be no bullying in this school. You two are coming with me. Thank you, Teefa, if you hadn't stood up for Sam or shouted maybe these two would have got away with bullying some one younger than them."
That is the first time any one has ever appreciated me being loud. Sam and I are good friends now. I look out for him and he's not the only one. You see if you are loud and you see some thing wrong you have to use your voice and make people sure people know what is going wrong!