Teen’s Suicide Causes Policy Change at Rockford Schools
In 2017, A 16-year-old Naperville High School student named Corey Walgren committed suicide after being questioned by a school resource officer about alleged criminal behavior, and his tragic death has led to a policy change at schools all across Illinois, including RPS 205.
According to 13 WREX, Governor Pritzker has signed a new law in effect that protects the rights of students and requires "a parent, guardian or designated advocate to be present when a student is questioned about a crime while on school grounds." In the event that a parent cannot be reached, school personnel such as a guidance counselor, social worker, nurse, or school psychologist need to stand in their place to protect the student.
Sgt. Timothy Speltz, Rockford Police’s head of the School Resource Unit told WREX that the "Rockford Police Department has always had the policy of notifying parents beforehand. But now, if officers can’t reach a parent or guardian, there’s an alternative method to make a student feel safe and more comfortable."