Michigan teen jailed for skipping schoolwork is released


A 15-year-old Michigan girl was released from juvenile detention on Friday, months after being jailed for skipping her schoolwork.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered the immediate release of the Black high school student — identified by her middle name, Grace — into her mother’s custody “pending appeal or further order of this court,” The Detroit News reported.

Grace was detained in May after a judge said she violated her probation when she skipped school assignments, ProPublica first reported.

The teen, who has ADHD and received special education services at her school, has since been placed in a residential mental health treatment program, according to ProPublica.

The girl was placed on probation April 21 after she was charged with assault and theft for separate incidents last year. Her probation officer filed a violation against her May 5, saying Grace violated probation after her “failure to submit any schoolwork and getting up for school,” according to the publication.

Earlier this month, Grace pleaded to be released, but Oakland County Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan denied it.

“I miss my mom,” Grace said during the three-hour hearing. “I can control myself. I can be obedient.”

“Give yourself a chance to follow through and finish something,” the judge told her, according to The Detroit News. “The right thing is for you and your mom to be separated for right now.”

The decision to detain her comes while the coronavirus pandemic has ripped through the country and killed more than 150,000 Americans. Detention centers are especially susceptible to spreading the coronavirus, and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order in March to suspend detaining juveniles who violate probation unless they posed an immediate safety risk.

On Monday, prosecutors asked the Michigan appellate court to hear Grace’s case on an emergency basis and to order her release, ProPublica reported.

Dominique Mosbergen contributed reporting.

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