Judge Lanny Moriarty put Dianne Tran in jail because she works two jobs to support her sibling after her parent divorced and moved away
Created on Sunday, 27 May 2012 18:49
Honour student who works 2 jobs as sole breadwinner for siblings put in Jail for missing school due to exhaustion.
However, honour student Diane Tran, 17, is no lazy truant. Since her parents divorced and left her and her two siblings, she has been the sole breadwinner and works two jobs to keep the family afloat.
Tran said she works a full time job, a part-time job and takes advancement and dual credit college level courses at Willis High School.
'[I take] dual credit U.S. history, dual credit English literacy, college algebra, Spanish language AP,' she says of her impressive academic workload.
However, the high-achiever cannot devote as much time as she would like to her schooling as she often misses an entire day.
Tran says that her parents divorced 'out of the blue' and left the kids to defend for themselves.
'I always thought our family was happy,' she said. Now it's up to Tran to support her siblings, who include an older brother at Texas A&M University and a younger sister who lives with relatives.
Local authorities are using Tran's case to crackdown on truancy. Judge Lanny Moriarty ordered Tran to pay a $100 fine and spend 24 hours in jail as a lesson.
'If you let one [truant student] run loose, what are you gonna' do with the rest of 'em? Let them go too?' said Judge Moriarty.
Her employer at the Waverly Manor wedding venue where Tran works at the weekend suggested that the authorities should 'help [the family], don't harm them'. Tran also works full-time at a dry cleaners.
Her co-worker and classmate Devin Hill, told the network how hard her friend works.
'She goes from job to job, from school, she stays up 'til 7 o'clock in the morning to study' she said. On the homepage of the school's website, there is a warning to students to be vigilant about their attendance.
'Should a student have multiple unexcused absences and a pattern of failing to attend school regularly, the law is clear that the matter becomes the jurisdiction of the court system,' it states. However, locals are arguing that Tran's case is unique and should be treated with more leniency.