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Texas judge dismisses contempt charges against honor student jailed for truancy

 

A Texas judge dismissed contempt charges against a 17-year-old honor student jailed for missing too much school because she worked two jobs to support her siblings.

Diane Tran, an 11th-grade student at Willis High School near Houston, was sent to jail for 24 hours last week by Judge Lanny Moriarty and ordered to pay a $100 fine for excessive truancy.

After intense public outcry over the teenager's punishment, Moriarty signed an order Wednesday dismissing contempt charges against Tran, a court clerk confirmed to FoxNews.com. The girl must now complete the proper paperwork to have her record expunged.

Tran was sent to jail for truancy after she reportedly missed 18 days of school this year. State law permits only 10 absences in a six-month period.

Tran, who works full-time at a dry-cleaning business and part-time for a wedding planner, has been supporting her brother and sister since her parents separated and her mother moved away.

Moriarty, who intended to make an example of Tran by placing her in jail, has been criticized by many -- including Houston Councilman Al Hoang -- for not using some discretion in the honor student's case.

Since the girl's story went viral, hundreds of people have rallied to raise money for Tran, including one group, Louisiana Children's Education Alliance, which has now raised more than $90,000 for the teen.

Tran, who is considered an adult under Texas state law, was issued a summons on May 23 for truancy after she missed classes. She was arrested in open court and ordered to spend 24 hours at the Montgomery County Jail for truancy, which is considered a misdemeanor. The ruling came after the teenager was issued a warning by a judge last month about her absences.

FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report.