Prompted by a Naperville teen who killed himself after a police officer interrogated him about an alleged sex tape, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday that requires a parent or designated advocate be present when a student is questioned in connection with a crime on school grounds.
The law, which goes into effect immediately, comes more than two years after Corey Walgren, 16, slipped out of Naperville North High School and plummeted from the top of a municipal parking garage after being interrogated by an officer assigned to the campus. Authorities had accused the teen of possessing child pornography — a felony that can lead to placement on the state’s sex offender registry — though records show authorities later determined there were no illegal images on the boy’s phone.
Corey’s parents were not present for the police inquiry and were not contacted until after he was questioned. The teen’s mother was on her way to meet with authorities when Corey left campus and headed toward the parking deck.
Illinois law requires police to “immediately make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent” after a minor is taken into custody. Naperville police determined the law did not apply to Corey because he had never been taken into custody while being questioned in a dean’s office and because the officer never intended to arrest him.