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Not Right: Texas Teen Jailed For Missing School – To Care For Her Siblings

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Are you in the mood to hear your blood boil? Well then listen to the story of Diane Tran, a 17-year-old high school student in Houston. Recently, the teen spent the night in jail and was fined $100 for a habitual attendance problem. So why should you get all fired up in Tran’s defense? Well this young lady isn’t your ordinary teen.

Diane Tran wasn’t missing school to hang out with her boyfriend or bum around at the mall. Though I can completely admit that I knew more than one adult who might’ve possibly made that very bad choice when they were a teen. I’m not going to name names or anything, but one of the hooligans might be… someone who currently writes for this website… and is currently telling you all a story about Diane Tran. Just saying.

Anyways, these aren’t the reasons behind Tran’s absence. This young lady is one of three children in the Tran family who were all abandoned by their parents after their recent divorce. Diane’s older brother is in college and her baby sister is staying with a relative. Diane, the middle child, missed school because she’s working two jobs to try to help support herself and her siblings. This young girl works full-time at a dry cleaner’s and part-time at a wedding venue just to try to get by. She also lives with one of her employers.

This is not a young girl who deserves to be punished! Diane Tran should be getting our support and our help. And yet, the judge sentencing her case didn’t take any of that into consideration. He merely said, “If you let one run loose, what are you gonna’ do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?”

I’m sorry, but that excuse is ridiculous. We’re talking about a minor who is working to try to support her siblings. And by the way, who do you think will need to pick up extra shifts to pay that $100 fine? The idea of punishing a minor in this position is just completely ludicrous. I’m honestly infuriated at the thought of it.

The only good news in this story is that since the reporting of Tran’s situation by local news, people from around the country have rallied behind this girl, offering their support and expressing their disbelief at her treatment by our legal system. I think this case just demonstrates the problem with truancy laws and their enforcement. Instead of helping teach kids responsibility, it might just be doling out even more punishment to those who are already in a vulnerable position.

Diane Tran did not deserve to be punished. We should helping teens in Tran’s position. We should be supporting this family of kids, not making their lives even harder. The honest fact of the matter is that justice was not delivered for Diane Tran. If it was, this teen would be able to concentrate on school without working two jobs to take care of her brother and her sister.

(via The Jane Dough)