If you've heard of Diane Tran, you've probably been outraged on behalf of the high school honors student sentenced to jailtime for missing too much school. The 11th grader has been working two jobs to help support her family, often leaving her too tired to make it to high school on time. I felt bad for her too. Until today.
It turns out the national outrage has fueled a fundraising campaign to the tune of $100,000. That filled me up with happy thoughts, until I heard Tran had refused to take the money.
I'm sorry, what did she do? And where, exactly, are these girl's parents?
Her refusal is kind of heartwarming and nice. The hard-working honors student said that there are other kids who could use the money more than she can. Probably. But the short-sightedness shows she needs an adult to step in and make this decision for her.
The reason we all felt so strongly about helping Diane Tran in the first place is because she has been missing school to do something her parents should be taking care of. No kid should have that kind of burden on her shoulders, and we were angry at the judge, but angry too at a society that makes a child a breadwinner. Now she is being given a chance to help support her family without having to miss school. It's righting a societal wrong.
And by refusing it, frankly, Diane Tran is allowing herself to be victimized again. She's no longer the poor kid who had no choice about her rough lot in life. She's a 17-year-old who is telling society to take a hike, she'd rather screw up on her own. Her parents should be out there telling her NOT to do that.
You can call it admirable that a kid wants to work hard and do it all herself. But sadly, we've seen she can't do it all. And we were angry that she was being expected to. But if Diane Tran doesn't accept a way out, doesn't take advantage of the chance to better her situation, frankly our anger on this kid's behalf is a big, fat waste of time.
Either she legitimately needs to be out of school to work her butt off, or she really could get her butt to class because she doesn't need money that badly. There isn't room for martyrdom when your future is on the line.
What do you think of Diane Tran refusing to take the money? Here's more on her case: