White Judge Sends 15-year Old Black Girl To Juvenile Detention For Not Doing Her Homework
A 15-year-old girl from Michigan is currently in a juvenile detention facility for failing to complete her homework amid the coronavirus pandemic.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The teen, who is referred to as 'Grace' in a ProPublica article published about the incident, was sent to the Children's Village detention center in Detroit on May 14 after a judge declared that the youngster's failure to complete school work had violated the terms of her parole.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Last year, Grace was charged with stealing another student's cellphone and assaulting her own mother during a row.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Grace's mother, referred to by the pseudonym 'Charissa' in the ProPublica article, told the publication that her daughter immediately expressed remorse over her actions.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Charissa explained that Grace suffers from ADHD, and that the pair had begun family therapy after the assault.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
During sentencing in April, Grace tearfully begged judge Mary Ellen Brennan not to send her to a juvenile detention facility.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'My mom and I do get into a lot of arguments, but with each one I learn something and try to analyze why it happened,' the teen sobbed.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'My mom and I are working each day to better ourselves and our relationship, and I think that the removal from my home would be an intrusion on our progress.'
Judge Brennan instead sentenced her to strict probation that included the completion of all schoolwork.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
However, with schools ordered closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Grace's routine was upended, and her caseworker, Rachel Giroux, soon became concerned that classwork was not being done.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
In an email penned to Giroux, Grace's teacher wrote: 'Let me be clear that this is no one's fault because we did not see this unprecedented global pandemic coming.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'Grave has a strong desire to do well... [and] is trying to get to the other side of a steep learning curve mountain and we have a plan for her to get there'.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
However, Grace failed to complete all schoolwork in the subsequent weeks, prompting Grioux to file a violation of probation.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'She clearly doesn't want to abide by the rules in the community,' Giroux wrote.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
On May 14, Judge Brennan ordered Grace to Children's Village. She claimed the sentence was not intended to be a punishment, but would rather be an opportunity for the teen to get treatment and services.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
However, Grace was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and ankle shackles.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Charisse said watching her daughter being taken away was particularly traumatic given that they are both black.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'For us and our culture, that for me was the knife stuck in my stomach and turning,' Charisse told ProPublica.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'That is our history, being shackled. And she didn't deserve that.'
Charisse shared a heartbreaking letter handwritten by Grace inside the detention center.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'I want to change. I want to be a better person. Here I've realized how much you care and love me. I'm sorry I took that for granted. Please continue to send me pictures of me and you or just with anyone. I love you mommy and I miss you,' the letter reads.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Grace will remain inside Children's Village until a new hearing is held on September 8.
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