By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT) – As 15-year-old Grace sits in an Oakland County Juvenile Detention Center for violating her probation.

Fellow classmates from Groves High School, staged a sit-in and protest in front of the Oakland County courthouse, demanding her release.

“If she is 15 years old, It’s no reason you should be treating a child or teenager like she’s a criminal,” said Ama Russell.

Russell is referring to her classmate “Grace.”

The teen has been locked up in Children’s Village since May. Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Breenan ordered her detained, saying Grace was a threat to the community based on prior assault and theft charges. Grace was on probation for those charges when the judge says she violated probation by not completing her online schoolwork during the pandemic.

“I didn’t do my homework either I’m not incarcerated, this could have easily been me,” said Sam Foss.

Protesters say that this is a case of racial injustice and had Grace been white, she would never be in this situation.

“We do not treat black girls with care and compassion, and that is a problem,” said Russell.

After a review of Grace’s case on Monday, Judge Breenan ruled to have Grace remain at Children’s Village, where she’s currently in stage two of a five stage program. The program can take months to complete. This group says they will continue to fight, until grace is home.

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April Morton

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