Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.
The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school.
"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."
In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.
According to Texas law, if a student has ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period, the school district may refer the student to a juvenile court. "In such cases, resolution of the issue is entirely in the hands of the court," reads a statement on the website of the Willis Independent School District.
After being warned by a judge in April about missing too much school, Tran was arrested in court on Wednesday and required to spend the night in jail, according to the above video from KHOU-11. She has also been fined $100.
Tran's case has spread online, with dozens of news outlets across the country picking up her story. HelpDianeTran.com, a site set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks, has raised over $28,000.
A petition at Change.org that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 26,000 signatures on Monday afternoon.
"This remarkable young woman doesn't deserve jail," wrote a Change.org commenter going by Letitia Gutierrez. "She deserves a medal."
Williams, the KHOU-11 reporter, visited the judge who sent Tran to jail. Watch the video above to hear the judge's reasoning behind the punishment.
This post has been updated to reflect the number of signatures on the Change.org petition as well as the amount of money raised.
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste. Learn more