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US honor student Diane Tran jailed in Texas for truancy (UPDATES)

Following a public outcry, the judge who sentenced the honors student to jail has signed an order that will expunge the incident from her record.

Diane Tran texas 2012 5 28Enlarge
(KHOU-11/Screengrab)

A US honors student has been jailed for missing too much school in Texas.

Diane Tran, a 17-year-old Willis High School junior, was sentenced to spent 24 hours in jail and pay $100 in fines for excessive truancy, according to CBS Atlanta.

She had broken a Texan law that makes it a crime to miss more than 10 days of school in a six month period, reported Local TV network KHOU-11.

Judge Lanny Moriarty said that at an appearance by Tran in his Justice of the Peace court last month he warned her to stop missing school.

When she recently missed classes again, he issued a summons and had her arrested in open court when she appeared. 

"In such cases, resolution of the issue is entirely in the hands of the court," a statement on the website of the Willis Independent School District read.

However, Diane is not the stereotypical truant one would expect in such a case.

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She helps support two siblings with both a full time and part-time job. Her parents were divorced and she lived with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

"She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

According to KHOU-11, Tran admitted that she was often too tired to go to school.

She said she took AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses.

Despite pleas for leniency, Moriarty reportedly said "a little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence" and claimed if one student was allowed to avoid jail then they would all "run loose."

A petition at change.org and a helpdianetran.com website has appeared after news of the year 11 student's plight spread online.

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UPDATE, May 31, 2012: At the request of the Montgomery County District Attorney, Judge Moriarity signed an order on May 30 that dismisses the contempt of court charges against Tran, the Houston Chronicle reported. Once Tran completes the paperwork, her conviction for truancy will be expunged from her record, Fox News reported.

In the days since her story became known, the public has donated thousands of dollars to Tran, according to Fox News. One group alone, the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance, has collected more than $90,000 for the hardworking high-schooler.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120527/diane-tran-us-honor-student-texas-truancy-jail