In a bizarre case, a 15-year old girl in Michigan has been sent to the juvenile home for not completing the homework assigned to her. The girl, whose middle name is Grace, also happens to suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She has been in custody for nearly two months.
Her internment took place after a judge ruled that she had violated her probation rules by not doing the work assigned to her through online classes. She was placed in probation due to her dangerous behavior, which included getting into a fight with her mother that led to police being called, as well as stealing from her school.
The judge who ordered her to be sent to the juvenile home said in her order that Grace is a threat to the community and she is "guilty of failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school."
The internment of the teenager has angered the National Juvenile Justice Network. Its executive director Ricky Watson Jr expressed his disappointment at the decision of the court.
"Who can even be a good student right now? Unless there is an urgent need, I don't understand why you would be sending a kid to any facility right now and taking them away from their families with all that we are dealing with right now," Watson Jr stated.
According to ProPublica, the full details of the case cannot be accessed as cases involving juveniles are often treated with confidentiality. But still, this kind of action is unprecedented. The Judge who presided over the case, Mary Ellen Brennan, also noted in her judgment that Grace had been warned that she was on borrowed ground with her behavior.
"She hasn't fulfilled the expectation with regard to school performance ...I told her she was on thin ice and I told her that I was going to hold her to the letter, to the order, of the probation," Judge Brennan said in her official statement.
According to ProPublica, what makes the case even more disturbing is the fact that Grace's teacher had said that the 15-year old's performance wasn't bad at all. "Let me be clear that this is no one's fault because we did not see this unprecedented global pandemic coming," Katerine Tarpeh, the teacher of the child, had said. She also informed that Grace "has a strong desire to do well."
Even the mother of the child is now worried about her daughter. "It just doesn't make any sense. Every day I go to bed thinking, and wake up thinking, 'How is this a better situation for her?", she was quoted as saying by the ProPublica.
Unfortunately, the next hearing on this case is scheduled for September 8. Until then, the girl is likely to remain in custody at the juvenile detention center. Her mother is hoping that there would be some intervention from some authorities that brings relief to her. As of now, it's not clear who can that authority be.