A Michigan teenager held in juvenile detention since mid-May for violating probation by failing to complete her online coursework was freed on Friday.
The 15-year-old girl, identified only as Grace, was released to her mother at around 5 p.m. after the Michigan Court of Appeals overruled her initial sentence, ProPublica Illinois reported.
She spent 78 days at a juvenile facility in Pontiac after an Oakland County family court judge revoked her probation on previous charges of assault and theft, ProPublica reported earlier this month.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan deemed her a “threat to the community” because she had failed to turn in assignments when her schools switched to remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The case involving Grace, a black special-needs student who suffers from ADHD, drew national concerns over the juvenile court system and allegations of racial bias.
More than 300,000 people signed an online petition calling for her release.
Michigan lawmakers and school board members advocated she be freed and federal representatives asked the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Justice Department to intervene.
There were also several protests outside the courthouse where the case was heard.
She will now remain free, on house arrest, during her appeal or pending “further order” from the Court of Appeals, ProPublica reported.
A statement released to the outlet on behalf of Grace and her mother said, “They are both extremely and deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from around the country, and for Grace’s release; she is anxious to be with her family.”
“We are elated. We are so happy for Grace to be going home,” said Grace’s other attorney, Jonathan Biernat.
“It is amazing that she is going to be able to sleep at home tonight.”