Black Michigan teen jailed for missing schoolwork released from probation
A 15-year-old Black girl in Michigan was released from her probation Tuesday after she was sent to a detention center earlier this year for failing to complete her schoolwork amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Oakland Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan adopted a caseworker recommendation that the girl, who is known as “Grace” to protect her identity, be released from her probation and the case be terminated. Grace will continue receiving mental health treatment at home, according to reports.
The girl was placed on probation in April following allegations of assault against her mother and theft. She was jailed in May in a juvenile detention center after she failed to complete online coursework assigned to her by teachers — a requirement of her probation.
Brennan denied Grace’s motion for an early release late last month, but the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her release, calling Brennan’s decision to incarcerate the girl “callous.”
She was released into her mother’s custody on July 31. Grace has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and receives special education services.
Brennan said during the Tuesday hearing that “Going forward, the court is hopeful that [Grace] has the tools and does make different choices in her home and at school,” ProPublica reported. The judged added that “I wish this family well.”
Grace’s mother, Charisse, said a statement that “to say that we are pleased with the outcome is an understatement.”
“While it was an unfortunate and painful process, it has resulted in Grace finally and permanently returning home to her family,” she said, according to ProPublica.
Charisse has also established family therapy, a parent education class and other services, according to the outlet.
Grace’s case drew nationwide scrutiny, prompting the viral hashtags #freeGrace and #JusticeforGrace. A petition calling for Grace to be released from the detention center garnered 347,493 signatures.
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