Texas Judge Sentences Honors Student Diane Tran to Jail for Missing School

Image source: KHOU-TV

A Texas judge threw an 11th-grade honors student in jail for repeatedly missing school in the hope that he could make an example of her.

Diane Tran, 17, works two jobs while taking dual-credit and advanced placement classes at Willis High School in Willis, Texas, KHOU-TV reported. Her parents divorced and moved away, leaving her to support an older brother at Texas A&M University and a baby sister who lives with relatives. She lives with the family of one of her employers, the owners of a wedding venue.

Tran told KHOU she doesn’t want to miss school, but is so exhausted sometimes that she can’t make it to her morning classes before attendance is taken. Other times she even ends up missing the day entirely.

“She goes from job to job, from school she stays up ’til 7 o’clock in the morning doing her homework,” Tran’s friend Devin Hill told the station.

Judge Lanny Moriarty warned Tran back in April not to miss any more school; when she missed again last week, he issued a summons and had her arrested in open court Wednesday. Tran was sentenced to a night in jail and ordered to pay a $100 fine.

“If you let one (truant student) run loose, what are you gonna’ do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?” Moriarty asked.

He admitted to KHOU after the fact that he didn’t know the full circumstances of Tran’s situation. He said he might work to have the arrest removed from her record, where it would otherwise remain.