Honour student Diane Tran sent to jail for school absence under harsh Texas law
Judge throws teen in jail for school absence
Works two jobs and studies all night - is exhausted
Will now have a criminal record after conviction
A US honour student has been jailed for missing too much school in a heartbreaking case that has raised questions over US truancy laws.
Diane Tran, 17, spent a night in a jail cell and was fined $100 because of a Texan law that makes it a crime to miss more than ten days of school in a six month period, reported Local TV network KHOU-11.
However, Diane is not the stereotypical truant one would expect in such a case.
She's a promising student who studies college-level algebra, dual-credit history and English. She also has a very good reason for the absences - she works two jobs and supports herself and helps provide for a younger sister and brother after her parents divorced and moved away.
"I always thought our family was happy," said Diane.
Sometimes she says she is just too exhausted from working and studying all night that she is unable to get up and go to school.
"She goes from job to job from school," classmate, Devin Hill, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7am in the morning doing her homework."
However, an unsympathetic judge claimed if one student was allowed to avoid jail then they would all "run loose" and said "a little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence".
Despite pleas for leniency given Diane's situation, the judge has yet to decide whether or not to revoke the sentence which would leave her with a criminal record.
A petition at change.org and a helpdianetran.com website has appeared after news of the year 11 student's plight spread online.
What kind of law is this?