In most cases, there’s very little we can do to change the bad things we see in the news. But people all over this country and in other countries who were angered at how Texas teen Diane Tran was being treated are reaching out to help her.
Diane is the 11th grader who was sent to jail for 24 hours and fined $100 for missing more than 10 days of school in a six-month period. Judge Lanny Moriarty said at the time that his rough treatment of the 17-year-old was to send a message to others.
“If you let one [truant student] run loose, what are you gonna do with the rest of ’em? Let them go too?” Moriarty said.
Now you can help Diane Tran — as people in 46 U.S. states and 12 other countries have done. The Louisiana Children’s Education Alliance has set up a fundraising site to help the girl, who is already considered an adult under Texas law. As of Tuesday evening, the fund had reached more than $65,000. You can learn more at HelpDianeTran.com.
If you’d like to let the judge know how you feel about his handling of the case, here’s his contact information.
Compulsory schooling is an outrage and this treatment is even more outrageous. At some point, this society has to quit trying to force people to be what politicians and judges want them to be. If Texas law can consider Diane Tran an adult, she’s certainly within her rights decided when or if she wants to go to school.
The legislation that gives a judge the power to send a young women to jail for no actual crime needs to be changed. And even if the Texas legislature refuses to do that, local voters should send a message to Moriarty and judges like him by electing someone else to take his place. I don’t believe in the coercive state, but if you’re a Texas voter in that district who still votes, it might be a good idea to find someone to take this heartless man’s place.
Note: Thanks to reader Daniel M. for bringing this fundraising effort to my attention in comments on the previous story.