Judge: Jailed Teen’s Case Goes Beyond Homework

Judge rules Michigan teen jailed after failing to complete school work while on probation will remain in custody until September. WDIV's Grant Hermes reports.

(WDIV/NBC News) — A 15-year-old girl who has been incarcerated in Michigan since mid-May after she failed to do her online schoolwork won’t be returning home any time soon.

Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan ordered the girl, identified only as “Grace,” to remain at a juvenile detention center where she is enrolled in a residential treatment program until September.

The case has drawn national headlines and sparked protests demanding Grace’s release.

Brennan noted that the failure to complete schoolwork was a probation violation, and not the sole reason Grace was jailed.

During a three-hour proceeding Monday the girl told Judge Brennan she wanted to go home and promised to stay out of trouble

The judge, however, told her it was in her best interest to stay in the program after all of the progress she had been making.

“If I were to grant the request to release you home today I would be making a mistake,” Brennan said.

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, is among those who have questioned whether race was a factor in detaining the girl.

Black youth in Michigan are more than four times as likely to be detained or committed than white youth, according to 2015 data analyzed by the nonprofit Sentencing Project.

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