Diane Tran, a honor student in Willis High School has been jailed for missing school. This news has been making rounds and attracting a lot criticism. The reason? Well, Diane Tran is no ordinary student, she has to take care of her brother and sister and works a full time and a part time job and sometimes get too tired to attend school, her reward is jail-time!
“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. 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.
Support Diane Tran, sign the petition or donate so she doesn’t have to work so hard. She needs our help!