Michigan Judge Keeps 15 y.o. Girl In Jail For Not Doing Homework?
You ever see those scared straight shows. Where they take bad kids and send them to jail for the day. To stay in a cell, talk to prisoners, get yelled at by officers and cry for their mommies. Sometimes it works. Sometimes you run into a kid that just don't care. Don't know if it works or if psychologists approve. But it does make for some spicy TV.
This video is from Oakland County. Coincidentally, the same place from where our story comes from today.
A judge has decided to keep a 15 year old girl in jail. Some folks believe it has everything to do with her being held because she didn't do her homework and her race.
The judge sees it differently.
Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan determined that the girl has been benefiting from a residential treatment program at a juvenile detention center, but is not yet ready to be with her mother.
Brennan stressed that police had responded to incidents between the mother and the daughter three times, and that Grace's detainment was the result of that, the Detroit News reported.
"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." (NBC News)
Proponents for her release have cited several issues that stand out in this case.
Attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. (Propublica)
The child's race has been brought up as she was placed in a school that is 79% white and that while trying to meet requirements, her failure to do so has led her to being incarcerated. Also, school closures due to Covid-19 and tens of thousands of students who failed to log in or complete their schoolwork. The judge says that's not why she's in juvenile detention. But she is benefiting from being in the system.
"Give yourself a chance to follow through and finish something," Brennan said, according to the Detroit News. "The right thing is for you and your mom to be separated for right now." (NBC News)
The Michigan Supreme Court said it would review the circumstances of this case later this week.
Read more about this story from NBC News & ProPublica.