In Texas, Being an Honor Student is not Enough to Keep you out of Jail
A judge throws the book at an honor student who was truant.
Meet Diane Tran
Diane Tran is a 17-year old junior at Willis High School in Willis, Texas, who is a very high achiever. She has attained honor roll status in every semester since she entered the school. Last year, her parents were divorced unexpectedly and both left town, abandoning Diane and her two siblings, including an older brother in college and a younger sister. Since then Diane has held down a full-time job as well as a part-time job, while also making the effort to go to school full-time. However, there are times when she is just too exhausted to make it to school, and she has missed several days this year while trying to make ends meet for herself and her family.
Meet the judge
However, a Justice of the Peace court judge, Lanny Moriarty, took no pity on her, despite her honor roll achievements, her two jobs, and her assumption of the role of head of her household. Saying he wanted to make an example of her, he told her he had warned her last month not to miss any more classes, exhaustion notwithstanding. Learning she had a missed a few more days, he arrested her in open court, sentenced her to 24 hours in jail and handed her a $100 dollar fine. Defending his actions, the judge told the press, "If you let one truant student run loose, what are you gonna do with the rest of 'em? Let them go too? A little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence."
I think if the judge were in my presence right now, I would say to him: Run loose? You think she is just running around loose? And that hundred dollars you fined her. She's trying to support three people and has to hold down two jobs to make ends meet. Where did your humanity go, judge?
Daine tells her story in the brief video below:
Link: Misbehave in a Texas Public School and You may end up in Jail
Diane Tran photo from crooksandliars.com
Judge Moriarty photo from mctx.org