Texas Honor Student Diane Tran Jailed for Missing School
A 17-year-old Texas high school honor student working two jobs to support herself and her two siblings after both their parents left them has been thrown in jail for repeatedly missing school.
KHOU reports that Diane Tran, an 11th grader at Willis High School in Willis, was sentenced to 24 hours behind bars by Judge Lanny Moriarty. Tran had appeared before the judge last month and was warned not to miss any more school. But the honor student, whose parents divorced and left her alone with her older brother and baby sister, was forced to take two jobs to help support the family.
Tran, who lives with one of her employers, works at a wedding venue on weekends and at a dry cleaner’s full time. She is helping put her older brother through Texas A&M University.
“She goes from job to job, from school she stays up ’til 7 o’clock in the morning,” Devin Hill, a friend, co-worker and classmate, told WHOU.
“[I take] dual credit U.S. history, dual credit English literacy, college algebra, Spanish language AP,” Tran told KHOU, an impressive course load even before considering she works full-time.
Tran’s grueling work schedule sometimes leaves her too exhausted to make it to school on time. Sometimes she doesn’t show up at all. Judge Moriarty said he wanted to make an example out of her.
“If you let one run loose, what are you gonna do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?” he asked KHOU.
In addition to spending a day in jail, Tran was also ordered to pay a $100 fine. She was arrested on the spot in the courtroom after she appeared on Wednesday.
After learning the particulars of her life, Judge Moriarty admitted to KHOU that perhaps he’d been too hard on the girl. He said he’d reconsider her case; if he does not, she will have a criminal record.
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