A 17-year-old honor student was sentenced to jail earlier this month for missing too many days of school. The student Diane Tran was working two jobs to support her siblings, but that was not enough of an excuse for Judge Lanny Moriarty.
“If you let one of them run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them?” he asked. “A little stay at the jail is not a death sentence.”
However, Tran’s story has sparked national outrage, and many have spoken against the seemingly outrageous call. Yet Texas law states that a student cannot missed more than 10 unexcused absences in a six-month period.
After Tran’s parents divorced and her mother relocated out-of-state, she supported her older brother and young sister, while her father worked late shifts. Tran worked full-time at a dry cleaners and did wedding arrangements on the weekend.
The punishment seems a little extreme for the crime, however, especially given the circumstances. Brian Wice, Tran’s attorney, said he met with Judge Moriarty, who recently reversed his decision and dropped the contempt charges.
This may have been a case of setting an example, but perhaps it would be best not to do it at the expense of a young girl’s future.