Shaquanda's mother, Creola Cotton, does not dispute that her daughter can behave impulsively and was sometimes guilty of tardiness or speaking out of turn at school--behaviors that she said were manifestations of Shaquanda's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for which the teen was taking prescription medication.
At yesterday’s hearing, the teen pled “true” to probation violations. Testimony included the girl to be openly defiant and belligerent with her mother in the presence of her probation officer as well as other court officials on more than one occasion.
While issues of adequate supervision were brought up in the original trial, juvenile probation officer Debbie Kennedy testified Tuesday that the girl’s mother has made sure all appointments have been kept, the girl is receiving weekly counseling from multiple sources and is reportedly taking prescribed medication.
Kennedy also testified that although local resources are being utilized, the girl’s behavior has not changed.
The youth’s attorney, Ben Massar, says he believes the county judge made a prudent decision about “a difficult situation.”
“She has emotional problems that need to be dealt with, but I don’t think she is going to reoffend and I don’t think TYC would be the place for her to receive the help she needs,” Massar said.
“I think the judge looked at this juvenile as an individual, took the case seriously and did what he thought was in the best interest of this child,” Massar said. “I believe he listened to my arguments and sees potential here.”
"I hope for Shaquanda's sake that she learns a lesson, not about the world's cruelty, but about how to live in a society--even a severely flawed one like ours. She has a chance to grow from this."
I'll pick my battles, thank you.
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