Last Wednesday a Texas judge arrested a 17-year-old teen for missing school. But Houston’s KHOU covered the story, shared some more context and it turns the young woman is actually an extraordinary student who works tireslessly to support two siblings.
Dianne Tran says her parents divorced and left Houston “out of the blue” leaving her to support an older brother at Texas A&M University and a baby sister who lives with relatives. Tran currently lives with one of her employers—she has a full time job at a dry cleaners, works at a vineyard on weekends and goes to high school.
Tran said she works a full-time job, a part-time job and takes advanced placement and dual credit college level courses. She said she is often too exhausted to wake up in time for school. Sometimes she misses the entire day, she said. Sometimes she arrives after attendance has been taken.
The judge ordered Tran to spend 24 hours in jail and pay a $100 fine. Judge Moriarty admitted that he wants to make an example of Tran.
“If you let one (truant student) run loose, what are you gonna’ do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?” Judge Moriarty asked.
KHOU confronted the judge with Tran’s story and he admitted he could have been more lenient, but that the hadn’t given any thought to reversing the sentence.