Teen jailed for six months after failing to do homework and get up for school on time

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A 15-year-old girl is set to remain behind bars after she failed to do her homework.

The teenager, referred to as Grace, was charged with assault and theft last year.

The pupil, who attends Groves High School, in Michigan, bit her mother’s finger and pulled her hair.

She was also found guilty of stealing another student’s phone.

The string of offences led a judge to place her on probation until mid-April, with a requirement to complete her schoolwork.

The teenager, who has ADHD and receives extra educational help at school, quickly fell behind when her school stopped in-person learning due to the pandemic.

Two weeks later Grace’s probation officer filed a complaint against her.

On May 14 Oakland County Family Court Division Judge Mary Ellen Brennan found the teenager guilty of violating probation for “failure to submit any schoolwork and getting up for school.”

While an after school detention may be a more typical punishment for tardiness or absent homework, Judge Brennan ruled that more decisive action was required.

She sentenced the school girl to three weeks secure detention in juvenile facility Children’s Village, Detroit Free Press reported.

Judge Brennan concluded that she was a “threat to the community” based on her prior assault and theft charges.

Grace was moved to a residential part of the same facility after three weeks where she remains to this day.

Now the judge has suggested that she stays in detention for a further three and a half months.

A report pulled together by a member of staff at Children’s Village stated that she had engaged with the programme well and was the ‘star resident’ one week.

They advised she complete three more stages of a five stage programme, which should take three and a half months.

“When I read this report, this is as good as it gets. … This is excellent,” Judge Brennan said, Detroit Free Press reported.

Grace disagreed with the judge’s ruling however, arguing in court this week that she should be allowed home.

“I believe placement in my home with the same, consistent therapy that I was getting beforehand, and love and support that will always be around me, will be a benefit for myself, my mom, my family and my community,” Grace said.

The teenager added that the packets of educational materials she had been sent by her school district were below her level.

Judge Brennan ruled that she should return to Children’s Village, in part so she could finish her work with shelter dogs.

At one point in the hearing the judge said that Grace had not been detained for not handing her homework in, but rather for the threat she posed to her mum.

However, at the original hearing her mum testified that her daughter had not been violent towards her during the probation period.

There are no police records of any violence between them since November.

Grace’s mum hugged her daughter goodbye at the end of the hearing this week and told her to be strong.

The 15-year-old replied “I can’t” before she was led away.

She will have served six months in detention once she is released.

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