Wow: Judge Declines To Release 15 Year Old Black Girl Held For Skipping Online Schoolwork Since May
A 15-year-old Black girl who has been incarcerated in Michigan since mid-May after she failed to do her online schoolwork won't be returning home, a judge decided Monday, in a case that has stoked outrage that it is emblematic of systemic racism and the criminalization of Black children. 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, the presiding judge of the court's Family Division, scheduled another hearing for September, NBC affiliate WDIV reported. The girl, who is being identified only by her middle name, Grace, was the subject of a report published last week by ProPublica Illinois, with politicians and community activists expressing outrage over her incarceration. During a three-hour proceeding, Brennan told Grace that it was in her best interest to stay in the program after all of the progress she had been making. "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." Grace, however, told the judge that she wanted to go home: "I miss my mom. I can control myself. I can be obedient." After the hearing, an attorney for the family, Jonathan Biernat, confirmed that Grace had been making strides, but the "fight for her release" is ongoing. He was unavailable for further comment later Monday.
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