gavel

  • A 15-year-old Black girl was incarcerated after not doing her coursework during the pandemic, ProPublica reported last week.
  • The girl, identified as Grace, found it difficult to complete her work due to her ADHD. However, completing her school work was a part of the requirements of her probation, which followed larceny and assault charges.
  • On Monday, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan denied Grace's release, according to The Detroit News, and said that keeping Grace incarcerated is "for her own good."
  • "She was not detained because she didn't turn her homework in," Brennan said. "She was detained because she was a threat to her mother."
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A 15-year-old Black girl in Michigan was sent to juvenile detention in May after failing to complete her virtual coursework, according to ProPublica.

The teen - who is only identified by her middle name, Grace, for her protection - was jailed during the pandemic for allegedly violating her probation when she failed to meet the requirement to complete her school work, the report said.

Grace's online classes began in mid-April and due to her ADHD, she found the shift from a live classroom setting to remote learning to be difficult, ProPublica reported.

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan of the Oakland County's Family Court Divison ruled that Grace was "guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school" and called Grace a "threat to (the) community," because of her previous charges, according to the report.

Prior to her current detention, Grace was charged with assault and larceny and placed on "intensive probation," Pro Publica reported.

Grace was charged with assault for a violent incident against her mother that occurred last November, ProPublica reported. She pulled her mother's hair and bit her finger because she couldn't go to her friend's house.

Weeks after that incident, Grace received a larceny charge for stealing a student's phone, ProPublica reported.

"She hasn't fulfilled the expectation with regard to school performance," Brennan said as she sentenced Grace, according to ProPublica. "I told her she was on thin ice and I told her that I was going to hold her to the letter, to the order, of the probation."

At a hearing Monday, Brennan denied a motion for Grace's release and scheduled another hearing for September, local news reported. A previous request for the teen's immediate release was also denied last week, according to the report.

Brennan at the hearing said that keeping Grace incarcerated is "for her own good," Detroit News reported.

According to the outlet, Grace at Monday's hearing said, "I miss my mom," and told the judge, "I can control myself. I can be obedient," before hearing Brennan's decision.

"Give yourself a chance to follow through and finish something," Brennan told Grace, according to the report. "The right thing is for you and your mom to be separated for right now."

Police were alerted three times for encounters between Grace and her mother, Detroit News reported.

During the physical confrontation with her mother, the girl allegedly bit her mother's hand and pulled her hair, the report said. Police have been called out three times for confrontations between the two, Brennan said from the bench.

"She was not detained because she didn't turn her homework in," Brennan said, Detroit News reported. "She was detained because she was a threat to her mother."

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