Settlement Reached in Landmark School Suicide
School and city officials in Naperville have agreed to pay the family of an honor student who killed himself $250,000 to settle a dispute over aggressive policing that led to a statewide rules change. The parents of 16-year-old Corey Walgren had sought to make both cops and district liable for the boy’s 2017 suicide, which occurred hours after a resource officer at Naperville High School suggested he might face charges for having sex with a fellow student. Last month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker mandated that parents be informed when students are questioned by police on school grounds.
The settlement comes in the wake of a January ruling in federal court that neither school nor city were culpable for the boy’s leaping from a five-story garage after being told that a recording he’d made of the encounter could land him with a child pornography rap. However, US District Court Judge Andrea Wood noted the traumatic effect of the interrogation in leaving open a door for the appeal that the payout renders moot. Lawmakers in February began work on the legislation, which also requires cops to question students in the presence of school officials.