Don’t drop the phone

By Me’Lyea Burton / LifeAtStart.com Reporter

Deep down in the trenches of sadness and disparity, there’s a room with even more sadness.

It’s cold, bare, and enclosed. It’s called the Behavior Intervention Classroom, alias BIC, or prison. Students are exiled to solitary confinement for various reasons. Some, like me, are innocent. I’ll tell about my unjust trial and the experience of my three-day sentence.

On November 28, 2016, I was called to report to my dean, or judge, Mr. Tyson Harder for trial. My plaintiff, Ms. Jennifer Schaefer, accused me of being late to my seventh hour class a total of six times. I was actually late four of the six times, but I had already served time at the detention center. The last two tardies were not me.

My noble science teacher, Ms. Schaefer, had mistaken me for another student, Tyra Price, who looks similar to me. When I was brought before Judge Harder, I confessed this to him, and he of course asked for any evidence I had to prove the plaintiff wrong. I told him that he could ask Tyra directly, but to my case’s demise, she was absent. I had lost the case with the plaintiff’s word against mine. He’d sentenced me to two days in the BIC house. I was due to start my time the next day.

November 29th was only the beginning. I walked in, gave the correctional officer, Mrs. Amy Rosemond, my name, and she gave me a designated number and cell, 14. She then came to my cell, confiscated my personal items, I didn’t give her my phone, and explained what I had to do in order to be released on time. She gave me this list:

  • Copy down the BIC rules and sign your name at the bottom
  • Copy down the “Attitude” speech
  • Read a behavior packet
  • Complete the questions
  • Do a career survey

I had completed the tasks and all my assigned work by the middle of second hour and slept until third hour.

During third hour, the COs changed shifts and we had a new guy, Mr. David Kuntz, who was more lenient and was with us until lunch time. At 10:10, when nobody else was eating, we all got in a single-file line, walked to the cafeteria to get our food, and returned to the room to eat. The food was disgusting. We didn’t have the options of pizza, the daily special, or the salad bar. We ate the most unappealing school food I had ever seen.

Unlike the rest of the day, we were actually able to talk during lunch. After lunch, CO Rosemond returned and we resumed silence. I was returning a newspaper that I had read, when my phone dropped out of my pocket. I had thought that maybe she forgot, but I was later mistaken. When sixth hour came, she switched shifts and a new lady, Mrs. Julie Holmes and her student aid, Alex Lane, monitored us until seventh hour began and CO Rosemond returned.  We sat and waited for the last dismissal bell and were finally able to go home, but only to report back to BIC the next day.

Day two wasn’t as bad as the first. I had come prepared and left my phone in my locker this time. It was the same thing as the last, but more people came. It wasn’t until dismissal that I realized she didn’t give me my BIC release slip. Flabbergasted and slightly irritable, I asked why I didn’t receive one. She told me I hadn’t been released because I had dropped my phone the prior day. I contemplated on my way home if I should return the next day. I decided to take responsibility for my actions and finish my sentence for the final day.

The last day went by quicker, than the others. This time, I was sure to give her my phone. I had brought a pillow and a blanket from home to sleep. I had barely any work to do. By the end of the day, I was given my phone back and my BIC release. I was then able to live my life as a normal citizen of Start High School. All in all, I learned to not look like others and to give my phone away, or I’ll get BIC.

Contact me at melyeaaj@gmail.com

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