Coulter wants review of decision to detain teen over missed schoolwork

The Detroit News

Oakland County Executive David Coulter asked Tuesday night for a court to review a decision to place a 15-year-old girl in Children's Village for a probation violation of not completing online schoolwork.

“I spoke with the Judge this evening," Coulter said in a written statement. "While there are many more details that she is unable to share with me and the public to protect privacy of the minor and their family, I believe a review of this case within her court or during an appellate process is required.

"It has been a top priority of my administration to keep the young people and employees safe at Children’s Village during the pandemic and that includes

limiting residency to immediate safety risks.” reported the girl, who is Black, was placed in the facility for juvenile offenders in May after failing to complete class assignments from Groves High School in Beverly Hills after the school switched to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan of Oakland County Family Court ruled that the girl was “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and called her a “threat to (the) community” because she was on probation for assault and theft charges, ProPublica reported.

The website reported the girl was charged with assault after a Nov. 6 incident in which she allegedly bit her mother and pulled her hair, and with larceny weeks later after allegedly stealing a fellow student's cellphone.

On Wednesday, Oakland Schools Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson issued a statement in support of the student, saying her office shares the community’s deep concern and outrage over the recent action taken against her by the county court system.

“We firmly believe that no student should be punished for not completing online school work during this unprecedented pandemic," Cook-Robinson said. "We stand ready to support Birmingham Public Schools in any way to ensure an equitable academic and social emotional environment as we welcome back all students.”