PONTIAC, Michigan -- Three young siblings in Michigan could be in juvenile detention until their 18th birthday -- apparently because they refused to spend time with their father.
Some cannot believe the sentence imposed by a judge in this case.
"What happened to freedom of speech? They are constitutional heroes for sticking to their guns," Karen Gilcher, a family friend said.
A judge ordered the children, ages 14, 10 and 9 be held at "Children's Village," a juvenile detention facility -- and they could be there until they turn 18.
"There are adults who commit felonies who aren't sentenced to three or four years incarceration," Mark Honeyman, a family friend said.
Lisa Gorcyca, a judge in Oakland County, Michigan sentenced the children to juvenile detention after the children were accused of going against her orders to allow their father to be a part of their lives.
Judge Gorcyca said this to the oldest child: "You're supposed to have a high IQ, which I'm doubting right now because of the way you act. You're very defiant. You have no manners."
The 14-year-old boy told the judge he has witnessed his father hit his mother. But the judge said the children's father is a good man.
Judge Gorcyca said this in court to the youngest of the siblings -- a nine-year-old girl: "God gave you a brain. He expects you to use it."
She also asked the girl: "You want to have your birthdays in Children's Village? Do you like going to the bathroom in front of people?"
Some feel the judge was out of line -- not only with the sentence, but also with her choice of words when it came to addressing the children.
"I deal with kid who misbehave in my classroom all the time. I have never used the kind of language that I have seen being used in these courtroom proceedings," Honeyman, who is a teacher, said.
The Detroit Free Press reports the children refused to go to lunch with their father -- as part of a bitter divorce and custody battle between their parents.
The Detroit Free Press says the children's father is an internationally prominent traffic safety researcher and GM engineer. Their mother is a pediatric eye doctor and widely known glaucoma researcher -- and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.
The judge in this case is known for her normally pleasant demeanor in court, the Detroit Free Press says.