Group raises more than $70G for Texas honor student jailed for truancy

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A Louisiana group has raised more than $70,000 for a 17-year-old Texas honor student jailed for missing too much school because she worked two jobs to support her siblings.

Diane Tran, an 11th-grade honor student at Willis High School near Houston, was sent to jail for 24 hours last week by Judge Lanny Moriarty and ordered to pay a $100 fine for excessive truancy.

It's unclear how many days Tran missed, but state law reportedly permits only 10 absences in a six-month period.

Tran, who works full-time at a dry-cleaning business and part-time for a wedding planner, has been supporting her brother and sister since her parents separated and her mother moved away.

Houston Councilman Al Hoang and others have roundly criticized the judge, saying he should have used some discretion in the honor student's case.

"I’m going to ask the judge to expunge the record," Hoang told FoxNews.com. "The truancy laws should be applied case by case, and in this case it should not be applied. I believe Judge Moriarty should have used his discretionary power to excuse her from this matter."

Since the girl's story went viral, hundreds of people have rallied to raise money for the teen, including one group, Louisiana Children's Education Alliance, which said Wednesday it had raised more than $70,000 for Tran.

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Lou Buren of TWAU BLOG: Ok, now it's my turn to criticize this judge. He is a blatant idiot! For one, public schools are a failure altogether. And the law that says kids have no choice but to attend school is another retarded law. And a gay law I might add. My heart goes out to the female student Tran. Please pray for her and donate if you can. Any student or parent who is having issues with the school system bugging them about truancy might want to look into home-schooling. Something I strongly advocate.

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