May 28th, 2012
04:35 PM ET

Texas high school honors student jailed for missing class

Diane Tran, a student at Willis High School in Texas, works part-time at a wedding venue, and full-time at a dry cleaner to help provide for her family. A judge warned her in April to stop missing class, but she missed again, CNN affiliate KHOU reported, and a judge put her in jail for truancy.

"A little stay in jail for one night is not a death sentence," Judge Lanny Moriarty said.

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Filed under: High school • Issues
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. LindaCRH

    I wonder if any of the adults at Willis High School in Texas have read about a similar story in North Carolina. Dawn Loggins was in a similar situation as Diane Tran, but instead of leaving this child to fend for herself, her school and community united to support and help her. While the staff at Willis High School was reporting Diane Tran to the authorities who would arrest her, the folks at Dawn Loggins' school were helping her by giving her work, clothes, food, and a place to live. I don't think that the "Judge" in this case is the only one to blame. Equal culpability is on the shoulders of every single adult in that school district who knew of her situation and never lifted a finger to help her. Shame on all of them.

    June 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  2. Dmanzan

    Clearly this girl works very hard in school and to provide for her family this is a out rage most teens are missing school for the wrong reasons she is missing because she is dedicated to her family and school being that she is a honor student. The System failed her when they should have been applauding her She is in my prayers I wish most teens had as much drive as this young lady!

    June 1, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  3. jrod

    the worst part is no one is going to do anything about this. In a couple of days people are going to forget this poor girl. I have had to work and go to school while taking care of my son. its so difficult but i learned alot. this girl should be applauded for her effort and dedication to school despite working to help her family. She was and is an honor roll student. Great message the judicial system is sending to the youth.. another reason i cant stand the system these days. its either too weak or to strong.......

    May 31, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Mack Brown



      May 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Michael A.

    The judge needs a detention for failing to do his homework on the case. Ridiculous.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Er

      Don't judge the Judge too quickly ... 🙂 a real artist to apply the law creatively!

      June 6, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  5. deb

    In Texas, schools are paid by the state for student attendence. Kids don't go, schools lose money. You are only permitted 3 days a school year unless you have a doctor's note. And yes, full grown adults go to jail for missing school. If you where enrolled in school before your 18th birthday, then you have to stay until you graduate or turn 21. Nonetheless, it is completely shameful.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  6. NOTavet

    what ELSE can you expect from republicans?
    they are becoming more extremist by the day.
    so why do I say republicans? here are the contributions from this in-bred judge to republicans: http://www.texastribune. org/library/data/campaign-finance/filer/319/from/71352/

    May 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  7. Rasha

    The judge sounds like someone who comes from a 3rd world country. A dictatorship is you will. A police state. America, we need to wake up and get these guys out of office or our kids are gonna be slaves in a "For Profit" jail.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  8. Thomas

    News from China?

    May 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  9. Li-Na

    Is that in China?

    May 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Andrew

    I would vote to remove/ompeach Mr. Lanny Moriarty as Judge if I live in Taxas. I do believe, he has no kids and he is not suitable to be a Judge.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  11. KC

    While I agree the judge in this case needs to spend tax payers more efficiently than going after an honor student with strong family values. I would like to know what kind of parents would allow a high school girl to work a part-time and a full-time job while still attending classes. This young lady has way too much on her plate.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Dave

    Wow – how did this guy ever manage to get on the bench. Another example of the cowboy mentality of Texas. Meanwhile the Enron cowboys still walk the streets.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Ike Rose

      Those Enron cowboys are Republican "Good Old Boys" while Diane Tran is non-white, poor and female. Politcs as normal in Texas...

      May 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • jrod

      love this post its the truth.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • jrod

      great point

      May 31, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  13. northeasterner

    Yet another reason to avoid the South.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  14. The truth

    If she was atheists, this wouldn't have happened

    May 29, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  15. BaltoPaul

    Things are dumber in Texas!

    May 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • texascreek

      That's why she is a Honors student? Dumb A$$.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  16. Bryan

    People living in the houston area would not be suprised by this story. The criminialization of school disciplinary problems runs rampent here. The schools refuse to deal in a rational way with any issue regarding students and instead refers them to criminal courts for rather minor offenses. Some kids have ended up in jail over things such as running in the halls. I wish I was kidding. It is so bad at one point there was talk that the justice department would be looking into the issues with this but I dont think it has gone anywhere yet.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  17. EKIA

    This judge needs to have an official review of his ruling. This is absurd. As many deadbeat government moochers as there are in the country, this fool thinks he needs to punish productivity. What a tool.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Andrea Underwood

      I live in Texas, and they don't play when it comes to school attendence . I have witnessed minors and adults put in hand cuffs in trunacy court .

      May 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  18. sharoom

    Where are her parents and why aren't they being called in on this? This story is so f*ed up on so many levels. What bothers me the most is that this judge is trying to make an example of her to combat truancy, but from all indications she is the OPPOSITE of a bad student. And what does the ruling accomplish? Slap a fine on her so she has to miss more school to work and pay it?

    May 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  19. SteveM

    Obviously her priorities are out of sync. She should know that it isn't good enough to be an honor student and support her family while working two jobs without spending a little time smooching the backside of the ingnorant and stupid authorities that be.

    May 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  20. Tom Smith

    Typical judge – lacks common sense.

    May 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  21. Rick James

    It is Texas, the state where they can put you into jail for almost anything.

    May 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  22. hamsta

    An honor student that works to support her family? was the judge smoking crack? or did he run out of juvenile delinquets to harrass?

    May 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |