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Should You Be Arrested For Skipping School?

by on May 29, 2012

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From Opposing Views: 17-year-old honor student Diane Tran was recently fined and sent to jail for missing school by Judge Lanny Moriarty (video below).

However, Tran is not your typical truant teen. She works two jobs [wedding venue and dry cleaning] and takes advanced placement and dual credit courses at Willis High School in Willis, Texas.

Some mornings, Tran is too tired to make it to school on time; other days, she misses classes.

Tran was warned by Judge Moriarty in April not to miss any more school, but when she missed school again last week, he sentenced her to 24 hours behind bars and a $100 fine.

Judge Moriarty told KHOU-TV: “If you let one of ‘em run loose, what are you gon’ do with the rest of ‘em, let them go too?”

Tran is working to support an older brother, who attends Texas A&M University, and a younger sister, ever since her parents got divorced and left the state.

Judge Moriarty told KHOU-TV that maybe he could have been more lenient, but hadn’t considered reversing the sentence.

MY TAKE: I totally understand where the judge is coming from with his decision. He’s basically making her a scapegoat to ensure that students don’t skip class without understanding that they’ll face consequences if they do. But he picked the wrong student to use for that type of situation. How do you expect an honors student who has no other way of supporting herself or her family to have a decent livelihood if she doesn’t get to work because she’s disciplined for missing school?

The only question I have about this situation on her side of the spectrum is why she’s the only one supporting her family and why her siblings aren’t contributing to helping the family out. I find that claim kind of weird and a little hard to believe, but I do commend her for how she’s dealing with her circumstances. Also, where do they live and did their parents both abandon them after they got divorced?  A lot of the details are a little sketchy but I still think the judge is wrong and there has to be some compromise made for her especially when she’s in the situation she’s in while still maintaining good grades.

Sign this petition from to ask the judge to cancel her fine and her sentencing


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