Moms Group Applauds Release of Black Girl Jailed over Schoolwork

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[#FreeGrace]
Beatriz Beckford: "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."
Photo: YouTube

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan part of America's racist judicial system whose despicable ruling sent 15-year-old Black girl "Grace" to jail--for not doing homework.

Statement of Beatriz Beckford, senior campaign director for youth justice at MomsRising on the decision by an Oakland County, Michigan Judge Mary Ellen Brennan to #FreeGrace, a 15-year-old who had been detained for failing to do her schoolwork.

“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.”

MomsRising.org is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to increase family economic security, decrease discrimination against women and moms, and to build a nation where businesses and families can thrive. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families, including criminal justice reform, immigration policy reform, and gun safety. MomsRising is working for paid family and medical leave, affordable, high quality childcare and early learning, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes women — particularly moms and women of color — and so many others. MomsRising advocates for access to healthy food for all kids, health care for all, earned sick days, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. MomsRising maintains a Spanish language website: MamásConPoder.org. Sign up online at www.MomsRising.org — and follow us on our blog, and on Twitter and Facebook.

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