Thursday, June 01, 2017

Parents, Please Talk to Your Student

"I think they wanted to scare him straight," Maureen Walgren told the Tribune in story published earlier this week. "Instead, they scared him to death."

Left by himself, Corey walked out of the school a few minutes later and headed toward a downtown Naperville parking garage. He climbed to the fifth floor and then committed suicide by plummeting 53 feet to the ground.
One of the saddest and most disturbing stories of teen suicide surfaced this week. 
The family of a Naperville high school student who committed suicide after being called into a dean's office for a disciplinary matter filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the school district and the city's Police Department, accusing them of breaking the law by interrogating the teen without first notifying his parents.

This young man, Corey Walgren, got called into the office where a Dean and a police officer grilled  him about an allegation that he had a video of a sexual incident with a female classmate on his phone and had shown it to others.

Heun and Madden — who are also named as individual defendants in the lawsuit — accused Corey of possessing child pornography and threatened him with placement on the state's sex offender registry, according to the lawsuit.


The recording they sought, however, ended up being a video file with no discernible images. Police described it as "very dark" and "more of only audio." Nothing can be seen in the recording, Walgren family attorney Terry Ekl said.
Illinois law requires police to "immediately make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent" after a minor is taken into custody. Unless a juvenile believes that he is free to stop the questioning and walk out of the room, according to legal experts, he is considered to be in police custody.

"Under the circumstances, a reasonable person in Corey's position would objectively consider himself still in custody and not free to leave that office," the lawsuit states.

Heun and Madden spoke with Corey for 18 minutes, according to police reports, before calling his parents, Doug and Maureen Walgren. Once they reached Maureen Walgren, Heun talked to her on a speakerphone with Corey in the room. He told her that her son was being investigated for "child pornography" and could end up being placed on the sex offender registry, Maureen Walgren said.
After waiting for his mother, who had to drive a long distance to get to him, he walked out of the school, went to a parking garage and jumped from the highest spot.  
Despite the allegations of child pornography, police never intended to pursue charges, records show. Rather, they indicated authorities wanted to handle the matter in a way that ensured Corey understood the seriousness of his actions and how it affected his classmate.
Folks, it appears that the video, had it been visible, would have been a felony to possess and show.  However, the girl in it apparently attended his funeral and the boy's family welcomed her.  He had never been in trouble before.

I can understand thinking you could make an example out of this student but "child pornography" and being a sex offender was a step too far.  They could have waited for his mother to come and then talked tough.

I cannot urge you enough to talk to your tween/teen.  You may think  your child would "never" to anything like this but you might be wrong.  

I have said over and over to talk to your child about his/her rights especially in the presence of a police officer.  The mantra should be, "I cannot talk to you until my guardian is here."

 Tell your child that many times, people in power will say things to try to elicit information or a confession.

Tell your child to hold on and you WILL be coming.

Tell those in power that your child is not to be interrogated without you being present.

And on the heels of this story, there's this:
Teens who text each other explicit images could be subject to 15 years in federal prison under a new bill that just passed the House of Representatives. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, has called the measure "deadly and counterproductive."

Introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) in March, the "Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017" passed the House by an overwhelming majority last week. Only two Republicans—Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky—voted against the bill, along with 53 Democrats.

What's more, "the law explicitly states that the mandatory minimums will apply equally to an attempt or a conspiracy," Scott noted:
That means if a teenager attempts to obtain a photo of sexually explicit conduct by requesting it from his teenage girlfriend, the judge must sentence that teenager to prison for at least 15 years for making such an attempt. If a teenager goads a friend to ask a teenager to take a sexually explicit image of herself, just by asking, he could be guilty of conspiracy or attempt, and the judge must sentence that teenager to at least 15 years in prison.
But Johnson, a freshman congressman (and vocal Trump supporter), dismissed opponents' concern that the measure would be used in ways he didn't intend it to be used. "In Scripture, Romans 13 refers to the governing authorities as 'God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer,'" he said in response to their floor concerns. "I, for one, believe we have a moral obligation, as any just government should, to defend the defenseless."
Is this a law or the wrath of God that we are looking at?

Read that again - if your child even ASKS another kids for a photo of a sexual nature and is caught making that request, the judge MUST sentence your child to prison for 15 years.  

That - is - nuts.   (I know this is very unlikely to pass the Senate but this is what our congresspeople are busy doing in D.C.)

Please - it's a very different world than the one we had as teens; protect your child by talking to your child.

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