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The 15-year-old Oakland County girl who was jailed as punishment for failing to complete her online schoolwork was released Friday evening to the custody of her mother.

Following monthlong protests over her imprisonment and public pressure, including from former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered the girl’s release on July 31 from Children’s Village, a juvenile detention facility in Pontiac, Detroit News reports.


The girl, who is Black and has ADHD, will stay with her mother “pending appeal or further order of this court,” the three-judge appellate panel ordered. 

Read More: Michigan judge denies release of teen girl jailed for skipping online homework

theGRIO previously reported, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Mary Ellen Brennan had denied the release of the 15-year-old, who is being called “Grace” to protect her identity. Brennan told Grace that keeping her detained was for her own good. 

Grace was placed in the juvenile facility in May after failing to complete online homework from Groves High School in Beverly Hills. At the time, the school switched to remote learning amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Judge Brennan initially ruled the girl was “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and called her a “threat to (the) community” because she was on probation for theft and assaulting her mother. 

“Give yourself a chance to follow through and finish something,” Brennan told Grace during a July hearing. “The right thing is for you and your mom to be separated for right now.”

Advocates held signs outside of the court with the hashtag, #FreeGrace. 

Read More: Michigan pastor says white woman coughed on him for not wearing mask

Lawmakers fired off a letter on Thursday to Attorney General William Barr and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, calling on them to intervene in Grace’s case. According to Detroit News, the letter was signed by U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, U.S. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. 

“While Grace has faced many personal challenges in her young life, it was her lack of completion in online classes that the judge cited as the definitive reason for sentencing Grace to juvenile detention,” they wrote in the letter. “This is unacceptable.”

“They just want to go home. … She will get to sleep in her own bed tonight for the first time in weeks,” said the girl’s lawyer, Jonathan Biernat, on Friday after the ruling. 

Biernat said the girl was “obviously overwhelmed and thankful” to finally be going home to her family.

“We didn’t expect this to happen until Monday,” said attorney Saima Khalil. “The Court of Appeals did the right thing.”

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Halle Berry Celebrates 54th Birthday With Pic of Herself Skateboarding in a Bikini

Tens of thousands in Iowa still without power days after devastating wind storm This Mega Grocery Chain Is Now Open Later Than Ever Halle Berry Celebrates 54th Birthday With Pic of Herself Skateboarding in a Bikini © Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

It's good to be Halle Berry! The Oscar winner celebrated her 54th birthday on Friday by sharing a sizzling photo of herself skateboarding. In the pic, the birthday girl wears a white tee over a floral-print bikini. She looks back as she rides the board down a sunny street.

"54….life just gets better and better! ????✨," Berry captioned the shot. Fans, friends and followers couldn't help but send her birthday messages, as well as fawn over her incredible looks.

Kerry Washington wrote, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! love you!!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️," while Janet Mock commented, "Goddessssss‼️" Mindy Kaling also praised the "iconic woman."

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A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Aug 14, 2020 at 9:00am PDT

Just last week, ahead of her birthday, the mother-of-two posted a flawless bathing suit pic. "Never been a shady beach. ????," she captioned the swimsuit snap.

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A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Aug 9, 2020 at 3:07pm PDT

ET spoke with Berry in April, where she said she's been enjoying all the extra time she's had with her kids while staying at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, there was one thing she was really struggling with -- homeschooling! 

"It's a nightmare for me. It's a nightmare," she confessed. "This is like a wash of a semester; they're really just not learning anything and it's hard. I have a 6-year-old, and what I learned is that when 6-year-olds see other 6-year-olds do things, then they do things. Like, they sit and they eat because there's 25 other ones doing it. They stay at their desks and color because there's 25 other ones doing it."

Hear more of what she told ET in the video below.


Halle Berry Says Homeschooling During Quarantine Has Been a 'Nightmare'

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