A day in the C.O.R.E.

By , Castro Valley, CA
I remember the first time I stepped into the C.O.R.E. room. It was empty, which was extremely weird now that I think of it.
The two smaller rooms at each corner of the C.O.R.E. had only one handle on the outside. The inside of these rooms were padded with blue foam on the floor, and a peeling tan color wall.

The teacher that was giving me, at the age of eight I believe, a tour of the school campus had told me these rooms were called the "Quiet Rooms". And when I asked what they were for she answered without thinking of what the information could have done to my young mind.
"These rooms are for when you get angry. If you are posing any threat to yourself or others you will be locked in here for however long it takes for you to calm down.”

Later that day I was put into a Quiet Room for over two hours.

Now fast forward five years. I’m thirteen and being put into the C.O.R.E. room to sit at a desk, facing a wall, and think about my “attitude”.
I can see through the small window of the Quiet Room across from my desk. There’s a guy older than me, maybe sixteen, in there crying. He’s screaming to let him out, he’s punching the wall with all his force, and he’s even trying to choke himself with his belt.

That was when the staff (or teachers as their called) came in to restrain him.

He was forced against the wall with his arms pinned behind his back. He was yelling swear words and the word “help” over and over again.
By this point I was feeling annoyed. How can I concentrate on this apology letter to the teacher that I’m supposed to write while this guy is screaming for me to help him?

In this school, it was all for one, and none for all. You kept to yourself, you kept for yourself, and you almost never made friends.
Kill or be killed. And this guy was definitely being killed.
After an hour or so of his none stop screaming he either A. passed out, or B. had enough of his pride stripped from him and decided to give up.
It was B.
I finally looked back over and saw him sitting in the corner and crying softly to himself.
I finished my apology letter and was escorted back to my classroom. And on the way out he kept repeating those sad words that had caused him to become so upset. A disbelief of the staff or a lost paper.
“I did do my homework, I did do my homework, I did do my homework…”
I stepped out the door and smiled.
I had no care for that boy who was crying of a thing so useless, for I had to look after myself.
It’s a cruel world here where the corruption of Anger Management reins. And C.O.R.E. is part of the resistance.
C.O.R.E. is what is drilled into your mind to behave. C.O.R.E. is what breaks the strongest child. C.O.R.E. is what contains those who will kill to get out.
C.O.R.E. is the fear that centers the center.
And to this day I still don’t know what C.O.R.E. means.





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