Local News Story Diane Tran, Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School

Herb 2012/05/28 00:31:59

Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school.

"She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

According to Texas law, if a student has ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period, the school district may refer the student to a juvenile court. "In such cases, resolution of the issue is entirely in the hands of the court," reads a statement on the website of the Willis Independent School District.

After being warned by a judge in April about missing too much school, Tran was arrested in court on Wednesday and required to spend the night in jail, according to the above video from KHOU-11. She has also been fined $100.

Tran's case has spread online, with dozens of news outlets across the country picking up her story. HelpDianeTran.com, a site set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks, has raised over $2,000.

A petition at Change.org that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 8,000 signatures on Sunday afternoon.

"This remarkable young woman doesn't deserve jail," wrote a Change.org commenter going by Letitia Gutierrez. "She deserves a medal."

Williams, the KHOU-11 reporter, visited the judge who sent Tran to jail. Watch the video above to hear the judge's reasoning behind the punishment.

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  • cc 2012/07/03 08:06:45
  • WannaBeRSC the Contrarian SOB 2012/05/28 10:26:44
    WannaBeRSC the Contrarian SOB
    An obvious attempt to crush a "Can Do!" spirit. That "judge" needs to censured and declared to be in dishonor.
  • Lady Wh... WannaBe... 2012/05/28 11:33:50
    Lady Whitewolf
  • SK-pro impeachment 2012/05/28 05:32:44
    SK-pro impeachment
    Judge needs to be suspended or fired.
  • Lady Wh... SK-pro ... 2012/05/28 11:34:07
    Lady Whitewolf
  • TruBluTopaz 2012/05/28 00:37:05
    First of all, there's no way she can sustain an AP course with so many absences. We do have a 90% attendance rule for a reason and that is because students with chronic absences struggle. Where are this girl's parents? This almost seems like a case for CPS to intervene because it sounds like the girl has been abandoned. I would want to know her grades, but I would also want to know where her parents are and why she is charged with the responsibility for working two jobs and raising two siblings. This sounds fishy to me and I wonder if she is a girl who has been brought here to work for the family and they are covering up in a similar way the girl in California was brought from Egypt. Someone needs to look into her status, because this does not pass the smell test.
  • SK-pro ... TruBluT... 2012/05/28 05:34:30
    SK-pro impeachment
    please go back and read the story.
  • TruBluT... SK-pro ... 2012/05/28 13:45:16
    I did. And I teach high school in Texas. I've seen this scenario play out before. What happens is that parents from another country contract with what is known as a "paper aunt" or "paper uncle" to house and feed their child in return for undetermined hours of work. It's essentially indentured servitude. These children are often responsible for their own bills and get "paid" a meagre amount to buy all her clothing and food. The adults will claim up and down that they are relatives when they are not or maybe they are distant relatives if at all. And since the story said the girl was supporting her siblings and that the parents were nowhere in the scene due to divorce, there is something that CPS needs to investigate. Sorry, I've seen this before. I don't wish the girl ill, but there are larger issues at play such as the safety of younger siblings and the parents' abandonment of them.
  • SK-pro ... TruBluT... 2012/05/28 19:31:30
    SK-pro impeachment
    Well by all means investigate her case and prove that is the case with her. i'd like to know what your findings are.
  • TruBluT... SK-pro ... 2012/05/28 20:42:27
    That's for CPS to do. And I truly think they should.

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