Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hard Working 11th Grader Jailed for Absence

Diane Tran is exhausted. She works full time at a dry cleaners, part time at a wedding venue, and squeezes in homework-dual credit U.S. history, dual credit English literature, college algebra, and AP Spanish-during the late hours of night. Sometimes she falls asleep in class after staying up until seven in the morning.
Her family is everywhere. Her parents divorced and left. She lives with her employer's family. The money she earns goes to an older brother at Texas A&M and a younger sister living with relatives in Houston.
"I always thought my family was happy," she told the press.
And why are the press caring about a girl beaten down into the dust by life? They wouldn't, nearly all these storie are trapped and unspoken. But Tran caught their attention after spending the night in the county jail.
She's seventeen.
Too young to be out of high school already, too young to vote and pour out her voice into our elective system. Too young for many jobs that might pay better. But old enough, apparently, to be arrested.
What did she do, rob a Swiss bank to support her family? No. Truancy. She drags herself to school when she can, but there are days she can't pull herself out of bed.
State and local laws don't tolerate a student missing ten unexcused days in six months, or three days for one month.
Parents whose children miss excessive amounts of school may also be prosecuted.
May? Okay, what is wrong with this situation?

The judge ordered her to spend twenty-four hours in jail and pay a $100 fine, $100 you know she needs.
His justification?
"If you let one run loose, what are you gonna do with the rest of 'em? Let them go too?"
Harsh: Judge Lanny Moriarty also ordered Tran to pay a $100 fine but others are asking that he shows leniency on the school girl
Judge Lanny Moriarty caught with a stupid expression on his face.
First of all, isn't Lanny a girl's name?
She's supposed to be an example to any other would-be truants. A theory under the stereotype that all teenagers are bratty layabouts.
I'm only two years younger than Ms. Tran. I know what it's like to take tough classes. I can't help but wonder how I would feel if this happened to me.
Even worse than the fine and jail time is the mark on her record that will show whenever she applies for college or a job. She aspires to be a doctor.
But there's still hope. Her story has caught the internet's attention and has been featured in both the US and UK news. There's a possibility the judge could be pressured into clearing it if enough people rally for her on blogs, facebook, twitter, and official news sites.
What can you do to help?


  1. What a douche bag judge! He deserves to be thrown in prison not Lanny. If I was rich, I'd give Lanny a $million bucks because she deserves it.

    1. I agree!

      I ditched school all time, was late all time so why don't they come and arrest me? This country is going to s**t.