HS Honor Student Working 2 Jobs Jailed and Fined For Missing Too Many Classes

Diane Tran, 17, who attends Willis High School in Houston, Texas has a story to tell and while some kids miss school for nothing and many of them go to school everyday and still fail, she is still an honor student who was punished to spend a night in jail and fined $100 for truancy and tardiness.

Diane Tran has been missing school due to working not one job but two jobs (1 full-time at dry cleaners and 1 part-time at a wedding venue) to support two siblings after her parents divorced and moved away. Despite what has happened in her life, Diane Tran is still an honor student taking AP classes (college-level courses).

According to one Diane Tran’s classmate, Devin Hill, who spoke with KHOU-11, Tran sometimes stay up to 7:00 AM in the morning completing her homework.

Diane Tran, a junior, says she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and dual credit history courses.

The 11th grader, who doesn’t live near her parents, but instead lives with her employer’s family, who owns the wedding venue that she works at on the weekends, states she misses school because she is exhausted, but she loves it.

Tran works to provide for her brother that attends Texas A&M and a little sister which lives with relatives in Houston, TX.

Due to a Texas law, which prohibits a student from missing ten or more unexcused absences in a 6-month period, the school district is responsible for pointing the student to juvenile court which then leaves it up to the court decision to decide what to do.

According to Judge Lanny Moriarty, who’s over Diane Tran case, “If you let one of them loose, what you gonna do with the rest of them, let them go too? A little stay in jail is not a death sentence.”

Meanwhile, Judge Moriarty says he will think about Tran’s case after pressure from local media.

If Judge Moriarty decides not to revoke Diane Tran’s fine and sentencing, she will have to live with it being on her record.

Since the story made its way in the headlines over the weekend, petitions have been created for the student as well as a website ( set-up by the Louisiana Children’s Education Alliance, which has already raised over $67,000.

What do you think about Diane Tran’s story and the judges decision?

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  1. “If you let one of them loose, what you gonna do with the rest of them, let them go too? A little stay in jail is not a death sentence.”

    Wow. Just WOW. Too bad these judges don’t have that same attitude when it comes to Wall $t.

  2. Instead of learning and understanding her living and family situation, the teachers, the school district, and the judge have failed her, failed to protect her. $75,000 raised and 211,000 online signatures collected. However, another door has opened to her thanks to the generosity of the Americans and the people from other countries.
    Houston defense attorney Ned Barnett on Tuesday called the ruling “outrageous” and said “a little discretion should have been used” in the teenager’s case.

    “It doesn’t take much discretion to have sympathy for Miss Tran,” Barnett said. “To lock her up is just outrageous.”

    Barnett, who is not defending Tran, said the girl likely spent her 24-hour jail sentence at Montgomery County Jail surrounded by suspected murderers, drug addicts and prostitutes. “It’s hard-core,” he said of the jail, noting that past clients whom he has defended described it as “the worst experience of their life.”

    Worldwide outpouring support for Diane Tran against the outrageous sentence by Judge Lanny Moriarty

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