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Honor Student Jailed For Missing School

May 31, 2012 by  

Honor Student Jailed For Missing School
Texas students who miss more than 10 days from school in six months could find themselves behind bars.

A Houston honor student was thrown behind bars for 24 hours and ordered to pay a $100 fine after missing too many days of school.

Diane Tran, a junior at Willis High School, has been working two jobs to help support her siblings since her parents separated.

Texas law allows only 10 absences over six months.

“If you let one run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? Let them go, too?” asked Judge Lanny Moriarity, defending his decision. The ruling came just a month after Tran had been warned about her absences.

Houston defense attorney Ned Barnett has called the case “outrageous.”

“It doesn’t take much discretion to have sympathy for Miss Tran. To lock her up is just outrageous,” he said.

After the news of Tran’s case received national attention, a website was started for the 17-year-old. The group running the site, Louisiana Children’s Education Alliance, has raised more than $80,000 for Tran.

“I think Diane unfortunately is at the center of two failed systems in America — our public education system and our judicial system,” observed Charlie Davis, the group’s president.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • sean murry

    Its none of thier business this kid is doing her best to look after her sisters and brothers i would be tired too go to school.

    • Barbara

      Also, instead of going to welfare and mooching off the tax payers she decided to work and be on her own to help. She has pride, she’s not a free loader.

      • anon

        If this young woman had received assistance I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with it.Your whole attitude is indicative of a whole subset of people in America today. There are people in bad situations today that need a hand. Are you going to take food out of a kids mouth? Well yes, you probably would.
        There are cheats out there. No argument ,but do you tear down the whole system because of a very small percentage of cheats?
        What about you. Are you on medicare? That’s assistance. I’d venture to say that 50% of the contributors on this site are on medicare. If they are on medicare give it up. That’s a big mooch. Got kids? Do you take the deduction off your income tax? That’s welfare. I have to pay because you have irresponsibly had kids and ask us to help raise them. Then there’s also school. Every body pays for that one.
        Should I go into income tax? You will probably find a larger group of income tax cheats here than in other groups, because as a whole their feelings about government. So the rest of us get to support these snobs while they take advantage of the system. That, Barbara is that.

    • Vic

      and what is the legal age for being an adult in Txx? Isnt it 18 and the parents should be cited for abandonment for leaving a minor in charge of her siblings.

      • Carol

        Vic, I’m not replying to you but could find no way to the first “anon” reply. Please forgive me! Anon, medicare is not an assistance. We pay for our medicare, every one of us. Medicaid may be classed as an assistance but we pay for medicare!

    • Ronald L. Young

      Yes, sean I agree. The Houston Public School System and the Houston Judicial system should have taken measures to help Miss Tran cope with her difficult situation instead of putting her in cuffs and in jail and fining her. The authorities in both these organizations have shown the public how a “marxist-communist” system works.

      • Randall Davis

        that is correct. The school officials and the police turned on her before the judge saw her!

  • M Cat

    This is just ridiculous. It makes me want to spit. This judge is the one who needs their name splashed around everywhere. Their practice on this one girl is telling and makes one wonder what other stupid decisions they have handed down that promote the liberal agenda.

    Being punished for working hard, do better than average, and behavior that emphasizes the american way of do your best/be rewarded. The judge is disgusting.

    • Karolyn

      How do you kow he’s a liberal? He could be a hard-a$$ conservative.

      • Sunnie D

        Your bias is showing – conservatives generally have compassion and try to follow the spirit of the law- liberals want to follow the letter of the law – the law they put into place.

      • Thinking About

        He happens to be republican. go figure, for those who call him liberal needs to rethink.

      • independant thinker

        Just because he is Republican (if he is) doesn’t automaticlly make him a true concervative. There are republicans that are just as liberal as the most liberal democrat.

      • Carol J

        In Texas being Democrat or Republican makes no difference to a white man judging an Asian girl. Believe me, I know how it’s done there I lived there and saw how any non-whites or a white woman from California were treated. You are automatically suspect and treated like dirt. This girl is an honor student and makes straight A’s in spite of having to support her siblings. This should never have happened.

      • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

        “Just because he is Republican (if he is) doesn’t automaticlly make him a true concervative. There are republicans that are just as liberal as the most liberal democrat.”

        So, the nit-picking begins.. The judge is a Pub but not THAT kind of Pub.. He’s a conservative but not THAT kind of conservative.. Now you guys are even attacking your own ilk simply because they don’t conform to your ideal Pub. Why not just call everybody a Lib but yourself, that should satisfy your feeble brain pan. The judge did it because he’s an (expletive deleted) and has probably been on the bench long enough to believe he’s the Nation’s conscience.. Dem, Pub, lib or neo-con has absolutely nothing to do with it. Quit blaming parties, it’s individuals you should focus on.. Don’t you see that your insulting an entire group when you spew such BS..?

      • hambone

        regardless of what the judge is, he should have not put her in jail.
        it’s one thing to miss school, just for the heck of it, but it’s another matter altogether when you are working your a## off trying to do your best to take care of everything and everyone and still do school. She should be exonerated.

    • eddie47d

      This has nothing to do with Liberals but more to do with the rigid Texas school system which is fairly Conservative.

    • dennis1946d

      left wing judge, we need to get the judge name and write our elected people and demand that the judge be removed

      • http://yahoo jerry

        I aqgree wholeheartedly

      • eddie47d

        Yes get that Conservative judge fired! He is a menace to reality!

    • anon

      His name is Lanny Moriarty. Please read article.

  • Charlie Tall

    “If you let one run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? Let them go, too?” asked Judge Lanny Moriarity…

    Zero tolerance implies zero intelligence.

    Congratulations, Lanny Moriarity, you’ve proven that a brain is not a job requirement for a judge.

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: “Congratulations, Lanny Moriarity, you’ve proven that a brain is not a job requirement for a judge.”

      What do you call a Judge who placed last in his class?

      “Your Honor.”


      • Winddrinker

        Lawyers become judges because they failed as attorneys!
        Yep, mostly we have the losers making all the decisions…from the bench.

        It has been noted that when the judge doesn’t know what to do, he takes the advice from the two attorneys on the case before him.

      • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

        Actually they became judges because they excelled as attorneys… If you’ll note, most judges worked as ADA’s then DA’s and as we all know, a prosecuting attorney will win no matter who they have to screw.. Enough of those types of wins and he’s bumped to a position where he doesn’t have to think any longer as his gavel is his surrogate brain. Though once a Pub or a Dem, he is now considered a non-entity

    • RivahMitch

      Actually, judges always protest when their ability to exercise their “discretion” is challenged or limited.

      “If you let one run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? Let them go, too?” he babbles. If this honor student’s behavior in helping support her family is what he considers “running loose”, I’d suggest, 1st, that he has no discretion and , 2nd, that the answer to his question is that “YES” all honor students “running loose” as she is should be “let go”.

  • http://Bud12 Ed

    Time to recall the judge.

  • Karolyn

    I saw it on the news this morning. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a reall a-hole. There has to be room for exceptions. Obviously this girl is a far cry from a real truant. Tran has said she doesn’t want any of the money being raised for her.

    • Winddrinker

      This kid needs to take the money! (what there is left after administrative fees from the organization with the website.) CHARITIES are big in Texas because, legally they only have to give 10% ( that is TEN PERCENT) to the charity they are raising money to support!

      That is a GREAT deal, the organization gets 90% and the charity gets 10%!! The organization workers write checks to themselves for expenses and individual time cards…til they reach 90% of what is donated…and that is how charity works…for the most part!

      Is it any wonder that people are so “charity” oriented!

      • anon

        Not all charities take 90%. Many use less than 10% of donations for overhead. Don’t slander wholes groups because of your ignorance. I have a feeling that you’ve never donated to any cause (I’ll bet you don’t even give 10% on Sundays Too bad because it shows you to be a lower quality person .

    • anon

      Karolyn- sorry I posted this to the wrong person this message was meant for Johnnyreb!

  • wandamurline

    If she was flunking school, then there should be penalties, but when someone can work two jobs and keep straight A’s in school….you have to take that into account….you cannot lump everyone into one scenario. The judge probably did what he felt was his duty to abide by the law, however, when did we become a country that jails kids for not attending school? I don’t believe in this “leave no child behind” nonsense…there has and always will be kids left behind because they don’t want an education, and if they don’t want to participate, no matter how many times you pick them up and take them to school, it will change nothing and it is not going to help. What the bureaucrats are worried about is the fact that the feds don’t pay them if the kid doesn’t come to school. This is more reason the federal Department of Education needs to be terminated, and the education of our kids given back to the states….we can do a better job and it is not constitutionally the feds job to do this in the first place.

    • Joe H

      I agree. Had she been a juvenile delinquent, out causing trouble or robbing people it would be a different case all together. This girl was doing her best under all but impossible circumstances and prevailing! She should be applauded, not punished!!

  • Michelle

    Her parents should be found and arrested for abandonment. Ther are a disgrace!

  • James Maxwell

    If any thing they should go after the parents, based upon what I read in the article she
    was supporting the children because her parents were not. It did not mention where the
    mother was at or if she was working to support her children, Since the parents were
    seperated apparently the father just took off and left them high and dry. He should be
    found and forced to contributed to the well being of his family. This is the most
    senseless and foolish judgement I’ve heard yet and apparently the judge is a moron
    at best. His judgement will follow this young lady and possible cost her a chance at
    college because she was doing more than should be required of a child. Common
    sense appsarently was left by the wayside by the parents, judge and judical system
    all at the same time.

    • Brad

      What as bunch of crap. One day we have a guy who has fathered 30 kids through 11 different women and they wont put him in jail, yet on anotherr day they want to put a hard working, quality american for supporting her siblings in jail for missing school.

      • johnnyreb

        The baby-daddy is Black, this girl is Asian. What’s wrong with you? We don’t need no stinkin’ self reliance here. How do you think this makes all the welfare queens feel?

      • anon

        Johnnyreb from the sounds of you that you come from one of those white trash families that originally figured out how to scam welfare.There are more whites on welfare than minorities.

    • Liz


      I agree with you….the judge should be trying to find out what is going on with her parents, and not punishing her for trying to do the “right thing” for her siblings. Yes, she did miss more school than what is allowed, but she is an honor student, trying to work 2 jobs to help her family, while keeping up with her grades. There are always “exceptions” to the rule, and this judge should have had enough wisdom to realize that this case had enough merit to have an exception.

      If I were the judge, I would have praised her for all the hard work she was doing, keeping up with her grades, and not quitting school, but doing her best to try and manage all of it. I would not send her to jail, nor would I give her a $100 fine,…instead, I would have given her “community service” work and explained the downfalls of going to jail, and having that jail time be on her record, and the importance of a good education. I would have a warrant issued for her parents to appear in court to explain what was going on, and to give them ample time to make sure she is back in school, and the rest of the children’s needs are met. I would then continue the case, to come back in a month or two….re-evaluate the situation, and if anyone went to jail, it would be the parents, who I think are ultimately responsible for their chldren.

      Liz – in Louisiana

      • Rick

        The one that needs some time in jail for being a self important ignnorant jerk is the judge. He should be removed from the bench, His license to practice law revoked perminately, and he should have to get a real job.The school needs to be fined for not caring about her this girl is getting the lessons and straight A’s so how many days she is there makes no difference. So what would they do if sha was in an accident after she gets out of the hosptial lock her in jail.Whit her work ethic some business should hire her making enough to quit ther second job. they would get a good worker and the girl would be able to make it to school.

      • javamnn

        “community service” work.
        You would give her even more burdens???????????????????????

        • Liz

          A few hours of Community Service work is far better than jail time or a $100 fine imposed upon her.


  • Jake

    I guess that now, even in the legal system there is a zero tolerance and a one size fits all mentality. This is just another warning that responsible, accountable individuals will not be tolerated in todays society.

    • Joe H

      Just another example of the fact that liberals are allergic to that two wordperil. PERSONAL RESONSIBILITY!!! God Bless this girl!!!

      • anon

        Did you even read the article or the posts? Or did you want to go on a rant? get it together.

    • eddie47d

      More like what a Conservative would do. I signed 3 petitions in her defense last week Joe so she has alot of Liberal support. What have you done except flap your pie hole?

      • Joe H

        Careful eddie, I haven’t started on you…..yet!

  • roger gunderson

    Forced schooling is unconstitutional and the judicial system is broken.

  • Mort

    From the picture, and her name, I surmise that Miss Tran is neither black nor Hispanic.

    Allow the judge to apply the law, but allow the fine to be paid by contributors that I am sure would willingly appear.

    Jail time? Utter nonsense. Apply the law, but release her on her own recognisance.

    • Chester

      Mort, by allowing the judge to “apply the law”, you have made this girl a convict. Granted, it is only a misdemeanor, but that little is enough to cost her scholarships and admission to a number of schools, especially in the field she was wanting to enter. This wasn’t the same as a traffic ticket, where you pay the fine and walk away. With as little as one night in jail, she now has a prison record that will follow her the rest of her life. If the judge in question had been hit with something like this when he was a high school student, more than likely he would still be digging ditches for a living. Instead, he belongs to the “good old boy” network, and can do no wrong, at least in that town and county.

  • Rebecca

    That home-school thing is looking better and better.

    • Sirian

      It is – statistically proven – it is!!

  • David

    Public education, or more appropriately called “state education” should not be a requirement in a “free” society. It has become a tool of the state to indoctrinate young minds in what the powers that be consider to be “morality” which may or may not be “moral”. A majority of Hispanics in Houston Independent School District fail to graduate. Requiring mandatory attendance without providing inspiration for graduation is indicative of this failed system.

    • Winddrinker

      If the State wants to put kids in jail why not let the gangbangers that have failed to graduate,…do the jail time.

      Of course not,,,,, the State would rather put a student in jail that is responsible, working two jobs to support her family, while still maintaining “Honor grades!”

      This is what happens when you let government be in charge of education (or government being in charge of anything!)

      The libturds are taking us back to the “dark ages.” Our laws are becoming insane. Good is punished and bad is rewarded!

      • anon

        You’re talking Texas here. I will guarantee these people are pubs.

  • Steve E

    She can be an honor student, miss too many classes, and go to jail. Her classmates can fail the grade, not do their homework, not miss many classes, and not go to jail. Failure gets the reward.

  • Chester

    Follow the law by showing up, regardless of your grades, and you have no reason to worry about jail, under THAT law. Of course, if you wash out of school because you have too many other things to play with, there is a more than average chance you are going to wind up not only in jail, but doing hard time in a state prison. Check out the chances a non-high school graduate has of going to prison as opposed to someone who has finished high school. The odds aren’t good.

  • Pete

    The judge is a moron, and should be recalled.

  • dennis1946

    This is just ridiculous. It makes me want to spit. This judge is the one who needs their name splashed around everywhere. Their practice on this one girl is telling and makes one wonder what other stupid decisions they have handed down that promote the liberal agenda.

    Being punished for working hard, do better than average, and behavior that emphasizes the american way of do your best/be rewarded. The judge is disgusting. demand that this judge be removed from office

  • Dad

    Judge Lanny Moriarity really, really needs to go!!
    So her “crime” is working, being smart, and not giving her money to liberal unions and deadbeats?

  • Buck

    Exactly when did lunatic become a required qualification to be a sitting judge , you know , like judge Moriarity , judge Kagan , all the ninth circuit judges , etc: etc: etc: .

  • Socrgma

    I am so proud of this young lady. Judge Moronic should be giving her an award for being such a responsible and devoted sister,student,and citizen. Nothing is going to stand in Ms. Tran’s way of success. Next year attend school everyday. Simply sleep through your classes like the losers do. If the teachers have any sense they will keep the room quiet for you. At least her night in jail gave her some down time. I expect
    Ms. Tran to do great things with her life. May God Bless this wonderful young lady.

  • kf

    Has Obama shown up to tell the world how much the girl looks like one of his daughters? Doubt it, because she’s not black. Bless her and her siblings.

  • JimH

    She is working TWO jobs because her family needs money, so the judge fines her $100.
    How stupid is that. Let’s take money from a family that needs it.
    She is still an honor student, so the missed time hasn’t really effected her studies.
    The inmates have taken over the assylum.
    Is that a photo of her in handcuffs?(were the cuffs really needed?)

  • burton wong

    So she broke the letter of the law. But she did not break the SPIRIT of the law. Why was such a law enacted? To increase the chances a person will learn. But obviously, the fact she’s an honor student & is taking college level classes indicates she has learned & is learning. By not assessing the total picture and applying the spirit of the law the judge was making a very bad judgment as well as being impractical and imposing an additional hardship on a hard working girl.

  • john

    …just waiting for the ss, to knock on my door………..

  • Richard

    There is definitely a miracle here with the girl. They have been able to raise over $80,000 to help with the family. Way more than what she would have earned working two jobs at her age. Had the Judge not followed through with his sentencing she’d still be working two jobs and missing school and who knows what her future would have been like. At least now she has a chance to really flourish and go on to college. God sure does work in mysterious ways. There is always a silver lining to every situation.

  • Richard

    100,000 has now be raised. Good for her.

  • Kimbeanie

    Welcome to the New America! Custody, Control, & Domination over the masses of the American people. Rule with an iron fist and a Jack Boot to the Throat of every tax paying citizen. Show no mercy. Only compassion for the lazy & real criminal element. B’ Rated Science Fiction has become reality. It shall only get worse! This will destroy all chances of an honor student to become a nurse, doctor, or other high end professional person.

    • anon

      This is Texas you’re writing about. Your characterization does not apply .

  • Nicolas

    What is the purpose of laws? The Laws are suppose to protect innocent life, liberty, and property. This is why we ELECT people into office. They are supposed to have the wisdome and understanding that laws are just guidelines. If the laws are contrary to the Constitution, then those laws are supposed to be considered null and void. Yes, even we Americans have been led to believe that if it is a law, we are suppose to obey it.
    This is the mentality of the public education system and they are putting these socialistic ideas into the minds of future generations.
    There are now over 1 million different laws on the books. Most of them are in violation of the Constitution. This is why we need to make sure that the people that we put into office are going to protect innocent life, liberty and property. If they do not, then we need to vote them out. Democrats and Republicans have failed in this area. This is why we as Americans need to start looking at third parties to replace those that do not understand the purpose of the laws.
    Government only changes by one of two ways – By the Ballot, or by the Bullet!
    If it gets to the point where it has to change by the bullet, then it is too late.
    Fight now while we stand a chance of winning or fight later when you will have no other choice and the chances of winning will be slim.
    Remember – Republic, not Democracy.
    Nicolas Lomas

    • ONTIME

      In this case the law was misused to interfere with the work ethic of a over achiever by putting her in a educational and economic bind to impair her work ethic…..

  • 45caliber

    An UPDATE:

    Today the judge ruled that there was a mistake made in that she did not bring to his attention her need to work the jobs to care for her brothers and that the court had failed to recognize her need for a lawyer. So he recinded the charge which basically clears her record. It does not, of course, replace the time she spent in jail. There is still the question of why she had to work two jobs to help when her older sybllings didn’t. Her oldest brother is in college. But at least she won’t keep the sentence on her record for the future.

  • Walkabout

    Have a work program so if a student needs to work and is making passing grades it is not a problem. If necessary (i.e., student having trouble with grades) let the student take less courses. Here that does not appear to be a problem.

  • Jay

    She should have told the judge she was “Gay”, and instead of jail time and a fine, she would have gotten an award, and her picture on the front page of all communist newspapers in America!!!

    • dufas magnet

      What kind of a nim-nod are you, bunky?

      • Jay

        Its unfortunate that she wasn’t being raised by a married, gay-couple, or undergoing gender-reasignment-surgery, or having an abortion, going through a divorce,, as such would have guaranteed her the lime0light, the spotlight, the adoration and undivided attention of the gay-stream-media.

        Unfortunately for her, she was heterosexual, Christian, and considered family to be sacrosanct, above all else. Off course, such behaviour will bring out the worst from our feminized, homosexsualized, homogenized, lobotomized, communist, progressive, socialist, fag-government, who hates the family above all else!!!

    • anon

      Again- this occurred in Texas. What you wrote makes no sense due to the fact that it’s Texas!


    Sure looks to me that this underachiever of a judge might want to look in the mirror and ask himself why he hobbled this over achiever…..

  • john

    this country has gone gone to hell

  • ToeTagTunny

    To give this girl 24 hours incarceration means one more day out of school (wonder if the a-hole administrator will accept THAT excuse?) but the absolute insult was fining her $100.00.. Either this idiot judge doesn’t know what $100.00 represents to someone who must work for a living or he just doesn’t care.. Let’s hope he chokes on his dinner when he uses her hard earned money to buy that meal from the profit. Punks like him needs to lose his position and all benefits attached to it.. Make him live on Social Security like the rest of us.

  • Renée

    Is this what our tax dollars are being spent on? What happened to those gang bangers that drive by and shoot people for no reason, or the drug dealers that get our little ones hooked. Where are the cops then. What about the person in office that is there illegally, what about him? This is just one more story to add to the REDICULOUS files!

  • anon

    If kids want to drop out of school at what 15 or 16? they can go their own way. Now, if a child is enrolled there’s an agreement that this kid will attend school. If they don’t it makes sense to make sure the parents are part of that responsibility. If that had been me I never would have skipped school again.
    The situation with Ms. Tran is of course is not a matter of truancy, and from what I read above the situation has been resolved. I have a feeling that there may be some changes made to this law by the citizens of Texas.
    Something I don’t understand are the people just going off because a law is involved. This is a state law. Why are people going postal? The response is just Pavlovian.

  • Viet Nam Vet 67-68

    Just another example of excessive Government Idiots running the insane asylum. Get these idiots out of Office NOW.

  • Rick

    BAN LAWYESRS ALL LAWYERS From all public offices including judgeships. The only good Lawyer is a dead lawyer.They are a blight on society

  • wnettles

    Great job, Tran! It is good to see that at least SOME of our young adults have the personal integrity and sense of responsibility to assume roles of leadership, regardless of what the corrupt government throws at them. It is this American spirit that will eventually overcome the socialist tyranny that is rotting our nation. Youth like Tran are the Patriots of tomorrow, learning the valuable life lessons that will enable them to shape our future into one of liberty and freedom.

  • http://Yahoo Marie

    In Texas they count you as being absent if you were late to class, Thos 10 absent days may have been actually days that she was late to class.


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