Jail for straight-A truant who worked two jobs to help family
Nick Allen in Los AngelesMay 30, 2012 - 6:56AM
Worked two jobs ... Diane Tran. Photo: Screen grabA teenager has been jailed for 24 hours in Texas for truancy despite missing school so she could work two jobs to support her family.
Diane Tran, 17, a straight-A student, breached the state's truancy law, which allows only three unexcused day absent per month, or 10 days in a six-month period, before schools notify the court.
Diane said she was having to combine her studies with a full-time job at a dry cleaners, and a part-time job at a wedding venue, so she was sometimes too tired to get to her classes. Her parents had divorced and moved away so she was living with another family, and using her income to support an older brother at university, and a younger sister.
Jailed ... Diane Tran.Devin Hill, a classmate, told a local television station: "She goes from job to job from school. She stays up until seven in the morning doing her homework."
Mary Elliot, Diane's employer at the wedding venue, said: "She's a straight-A student. She keeps her grades up, but sometimes she oversleeps, because she's been working.
When she missed another day he issued a summons and had the teenager arrested when she appeared in court.
In addition to sending her to spend the night in Montgomery County Jail, he ordered her to pay a $100 fine. "A little stay in the jail, for one night, is not a death sentence," he said.
An online campaign to support Diane has since raised $28,000 (pounds 18,000).
The Daily Telegraph, London
早兩日看到這則新聞，已經有點慨歎，如果香港也有相同法例，標少可能長期坐牢。今天這跟進報導講的若果是事實，這女孩子的確了不起。主審法官大義凛然，覺得坐牢一天又不是判處死刑，何須大驚小怪。我真不明白美國的司法，如果這女孩為口奔馳，以致睡過了頭，為何要刑事檢控。犯法不一定提出檢控，可以因應事件背景酌情處理(prosecutorial discretion)。因逃學而坐牢，有點匪夷所思。既然判她坐牢，何必攫取她辛勤賺到的血汗錢？若給我判，absolute discharge。