A 15-year-old Michigan girl known as Grace was denied early release from juvenile detention this week. Grace was detained back in May for failure to complete her online homework.
Grace’s next court date is set for September.
“She is a threat of harm under our current circumstances without the mental health treatment she needs, and interventions so she can get a handle on herself,” said Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, according to Michigan Radio. “There is not a question in my mind, if I were to grant the request to release you home today, I would be making a mistake, and I would be doing you a disservice.”
More than 93,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for Grace’s release.
“A black, 15 year-old female student from Groves High School in Birmingham, MI with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was incarcerated on alleged probation violation of not keeping up with her online schoolwork during the pandemic,” the petition read.
“Grace’s teacher, who was supposed to speak on her behalf, was unable to testify because she had to leave to teach a class. The only person to speak on Grace’s behalf was her caseworker, who was unaware of Grace’s educational disabilities and her IEP. The presiding judge called her a ‘threat to the community.'”
Grace remains in custody at the Children’s Village juvenile detention center. She had previously received probation for a fight with her mother that she had been going to therapy for as a result, according to ProPublica.
“I want to change. I want to be a better person,” Grace wrote in a letter to her mother that was shared by the publication. “Here I’ve realized how much you care and love me. I’m sorry I took that for granted. Please continue to send me pictures of me and you or just with anyone. I love you mommy and I miss you.”