Back in May, a 15-year-old Black girl was incarcerated in juvenile detention, allegedly for violating her probation for failing to submit online schoolwork.
Now that girl, identified as “Grace,” will remain incarcerated in Michigan after Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan declined her request for early release and scheduled another hearing for September, according to Click on Detroit.
The Detroit News reports that Grace was on probation for assault and theft charges related to a confrontation with her mother in November.
Brennan framed the separation as being good for the young teen.
“Give yourself a chance to follow through and finish something,” Brennan said. “The right thing is for you and your mom to be separated for right now.”
“She was not detained because she didn’t turn her homework in,” the judge emphasized. “She was detained because she was a threat to her mother.”
Before Brennan handed down her decision, she allowed Grace to speak. The teen said that she wanted to go home, noting, “I can control myself. I can be obedient.”
“I miss my mom,” the 15-year-old added.
Grace’s story drew attention and widespread criticism after ProPublica released a report about her case, particularly due to the criminalization of Black children.
Despite the outrage, Brennan defended her decision.
“My role is to make decisions that are in this young lady’s best interest, period,” she said. “I took an oath that I would not be swayed by public clamor or fear of criticism.”