Moms Group Applauds Freedom for ‘Grace,’ Vows to Fight Over-Criminalization of Black Youth
“We are very pleased that Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan righted a wrong yesterday by ruling that ‘Grace’ should be released from probation and her case closed. Prison is no place for a kid, and detaining a teen with special needs who missed homework assignments after her school switched to virtual instruction was a cruel, harmful miscarriage of justice – an outrageous example of the over-criminalization of Black youth that happens much too often in this country.
“Fifteen-year-old ‘Grace’ had been held at a juvenile detention facility for three months for violating her probation, which required her to keep up with her schoolwork. ‘Grace’ has ADHD and fell behind because she struggled with online learning. When schools closed due to COVID-19, she did not have access to the in-person teacher support that had long helped her succeed in school and was required by her Individualized Education Plan. She had near-perfect attendance and was doing well before the pandemic.
“Too many kids like ‘Grace’ have been unjustly and unnecessarily detained, with Black and Brown minors at particular risk. America’s moms oppose the racialized practice of arresting and prosecuting children and the over-criminalization of our youth. It must end.”