Training inmates not scholars II: Honors Student, 11th Grader Jailed for truancy


From ABC News Texas Honor Student With Two Jobs Jailed for Missing Too Much School:

In addition to working at Elliot’s wedding-planning venue, Tran works full-time at a dry cleaners. She has been supporting an older brother and a younger sister since her parents separated and her mother relocated out of state, Elliot said. Her father often works too late to come home, so she sometimes lives with Elliot’s daughter.Tran, 17, had already been warned not to miss any more time at her Houston-area school, but when Judge Lanny Moriarty heard she’d skipped again, he sent her to jail for 24 hours Wednesday, according to KHOU 11 News.


When those close to Tran suggested she switch to home schooling, Tran refused because she wanted to be named among the top-10 students in her class just like her brother, Elliot said.

Judge Moriarty told KHOU 11 News that he intended to make an example of Tran.

“If you let one run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? Let them go, too?” Moriarty asked the TV station.

Who the hell is this judge?

And this extreme case shows the ridiculous standard thought process of this judge. So what if Tran was not an honors student and was just trying to take care of her family? Would he jail this hypothetical non A+ Tran too? He basically is saying “Yes”, because she was “running loose” in Moriarty’s mind. This shows you how often incarceration is seen as some kind of tough love that should be used for kids in place of any kind of case work or really say coming up with some sort of discretionary solution.

So what will happen now? Extreme home makeover/Secret Millionaire type philanthropy and Kony 2012 parachute advocacy will be deployed instead of solving a real issue. To a degree this has already happened as the charges have been dropped after the (justified) nationalization of this story.

But Judge Moriarty (yes he’s Republican) is still a judge who decides truancy cases and can’t tell the difference between say a person running loose and a young student with a shitty home situation, but remarkable work ethic, a big heart, an intelligent mind and loyalty to her family. Jail doesn’t teach anything except how to go to jail. She’s an honors student taking Advanced Placement courses, so she plays Rosa Parks to some other probably unknown Claudette Colvins of principled truancy (is that even a thing) you don’t need detention or incarceration for this, but what if this is a teen parent or the kid is in vocational school? Would this even be a story? Would Judge Moriarty be applauded?