A judge in the US state of Michigan has ruled that a student detained after neglecting homework and fighting with her mother cannot be released.
The fifteen-year-old black, identified by her middle name “Grace”, has been under juvenile detention since May.
“I miss my mom,” Grace reportedly told court on Monday. “I can control myself. I can be obedient.”
But the judge claimed that detention was in his best interest for now. The case sparked protests and racism claims.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan said the teenager had benefited from a residential care program and was not yet ready to return to her mother.
“There is no question in my mind, if I had to grant the request to release you home today, I would make a mistake, and I’d do you a disservice, “he said to Grace, according to Michigan Radio.
Judge Brennan also claimed that police responded to multiple mother-daughter incidents and that his detention was the result.
“She wasn’t detained because she didn’t turn her homework … She was detained because it was a threat to her mother,” said the judge.
She also turned to the public scrutiny over which the case occurred, saying that “it would not be influenced by public outcry or fear of criticism.”
The case has been highlighted for the first time last week in a report from the US news site ProPublica. Following interviews with Grace’s mother, the outlet described how the teenager had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and had already experienced behavior problems.
She was released on probation in mid-April through Zoom’s juvenile court hearing after being attacked and stolen in the past year; one of the terms of probation was the obligation to perform his duties at school.
ProPublica reported that the start of Grace’s rehearsal coincided with the early days of remote schoolwork, and she quickly became overwhelmed without the personal support of her teachers.
At a mid-May hearing at the Oakland County Family Court Division to decide whether Grace had violated her probation, Judge Brennan found the girl “guilty of not submitting to any schoolwork and getting up to go to school “and called Grace a” threat to the community “because of the previous charges against her, she said.
Hundreds of students joined a demonstration outside Grace’s school last week, demanding his release. The “Black Lives Matter” signs were supported along with the “Free Grace” signs.
“I know that if Grace were a 15-year-old white girl, she wouldn’t be sitting in juvenile detention right now,” said a mother, Sheri Crawley, at local WDIV TV station.
Thousands of people have also signed online petitions calling for his release.
Another hearing has been scheduled for September, according to local media reports.