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Prosecutors drop charges against Catherine Ferguson Academy protesters

Students protest at the Catherine Ferguson Academy.
Students protest at the Catherine Ferguson Academy.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against 10 peoplewho were arrested for civil disobedience at a Detroit school in April.

Students and a teacher at the Catherine Ferguson Academy for pregnant and parenting teens were arrested during a sit-on to protest the school closing.

The Detroit Public Schools later announced that a charter operator would take over the school.

Attorney Joyce Schon says prosecutors gave no reason for dismissing the charges.

But Schon thinks authorities backed off because the arrests drew national media attention, and many people supported the protesters.

“The crowd that had gathered outside to defend them went down to the police station where they were taken and held a picket on the spot, and demanded their release. And that whole process was very important to finally getting these charges dropped.”

Schon says her clients agreed not to file lawsuits for false arrest or police misconduct in return for dismissing the charges.

Schon says the students will also keep up their fight to make sure the school retains its unique curriculum that supports both the students and their children.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.