11th grader Diane Tran was summoned to court and arrested for truancy on Wednesday after missing school again after receiving a warning from truancy court last month. Tran, who attends Willis High School in Willis, Texas, spent 24 hours in jail and was given a $100 fine by Judge Larry Moriarty, the same judge who issued her previous warning. “If you let one (truant student) run loose, what are you gonna’ do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?” the judge asked.
The 17-year-old works a full-time job, a part-time job, and takes Advanced Placement classes as well as college level courses. She told KHOU that when her parents divorced, the both moved away. She lives in Willis with the family her weekend employer, the Vineyard of Waverly Manor. During the week she works full-time at a dry cleaners. She is trying to support an older brother who attends Texas A&M University, and a younger sister who lives with relatives in Houston. Her schedule keeps her up late at night, and she admits she sometimes sleeps through classes the next day.
The truancy laws in Texas state that a student cannot have more than ten unexcused absences in six months, or three absences in one month.
According to Texas truancy law students can have no more than 10 unexcused absences – full days or part days – within six months, and no more than three absences within one month.
Judge Moriarty, said to the who did not know her living situation at sentencing, later told KHOU that he may try to get the arrest erased from her record.
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