Under the sentence handed down by Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville, she will remain at the facility until she meets state rehabilitation standards or reaches her 21st birthday.
But her family and civil rights activists say they want her home now. They are condemning the sentence as unusually harsh and say it shows a justice system that punishes young offenders differently, depending on their race.
Creola Cotton, Shaquandra's mother, and activists argue that while Superville sent Shaquandra to the state's juvenile prison system, he gave a white 14-year-old arsonist probation.
As many as 400 people marched and rallied in Paris on Tuesday, the second such protest in as many weeks by civil rights groups.
Meanwhile, the Paris school district fiercely denied claims of racism and chided the girl's mother for "playing a game" to start controversy.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Posted by Peter at Wednesday, March 28, 2007