Sam has had it. He has no time to do anything in his life except eat, sleep, and deal with a mountain of homework. So when a teacher hands him a hefty review package to complete over a long weekend, on top of everything already assigned, Sam stands on his desk and refuses.
When other classmates follow Sam’s lead, the school principal outlines the suspension they’ll receive for refusing the assignment. One by one they all sit down until Sam is the only student standing.
As a result, the principal suspends Sam for three days. During Sam’s time off, his neighbour Mr. Kalman asks why he isn’t at school. When Sam tells him the story, Mr. Kalman responds that Sam needs to return to school because his right to a hearing was violated.
The principal holds a brief hearing to fulfill his legal obligation, and that should be the end of it. But on the way back from the abbreviated hearing, Sam’s sister Sadie becomes mad. She tells Sam that she’s not going to let school ruin his childhood as it did hers. She pesters Mr. Kalman until he agrees to help the two of them sue the school board.
But instead of suing on behalf of Sam alone, Mr. Kalman files a class action lawsuit representing all 700,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. To raise money for the lawsuit, Sam and his friends collect and sell old school projects and science fair entries to students and families dreading those particular tasks.
With the financial side taken care of, it’s time for Sam, Sadie, and Mr. Kalman to go to court.
Are their arguments persuasive enough? Will the opposing lawyer have precedent on his side? Can Sam and Mr. Kalman possibly convince a judge that homework is unconstitutional?
Class Action by Steven B. Frank is shelved upstairs in the juvenile fiction section of the Children’s Department.
If you enjoy Class Action, you may also enjoy The Homework Strike by Greg Pincus. When Gregory realizes he is spending three hours doing homework each night, he decides to go on strike. His strike gradually gains support and the attention of the media, but will it be enough? The Homework Strike is also shelved in the juvenile fiction section of the Children’s Department.