Black girl, 15, remains in jail for allegedly failing to complete homework

jail cell
Photo credit: / Ana Aguirre Perez

A 15-year-old Black girl remains in jail for allegedly not doing her homework after a judge recently denied her release. The initial situation began in May 2020 when the teen, known as “Gracie,” violated her probation by not completing her homework, according to WDIV.

Gracie was on probation for an assault that occurred in 2019. But after Gracie did not turn in homework while taking an online class at Groves High School in Birmingham, Michigan — a suburb of Detroit — a judge ruled that she would have to return to juvenile detention.

After two months at the detention center, Gracie was forced to remain behind bars once Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan ruled that she was not ready to return home.

Judge Brennan claimed that Gracie was being held at the detention center for her own good.

“She was not detained because she didn’t turn her homework in,” Brennan said during an interview with ProPublica. “She was detained because I found her to be a threat of harm to her mother based on everything I knew.”

Gracie had allegedly been involved in several disputes with her mother where police where called.

However, some believe that Gracie would not be forced to return to juvenile if she were a White teen in a similar situation.

During an interview with MSNBC, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich said, “If it was a white young person, I really question whether the judge would have done this. Putting a young person in a confined area in the midst of COVID isn’t the answer.”

There have also been several protests that have taken place in Birmingham, Michigan to call for the judge to release Gracie.

However, Judge Brennan has yet to be swayed by public opinion and has said that Gracie will have to remain incarcerated until her next court date in September.

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