Law Enforcement Must Notify Parents Prior to Detention and Questioning of Students

On August 23, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed a new law requiring parental notification of students being detained and questioned by law enforcement on school grounds, during the school day. While this law does not impose responsibilities on school officials, per se, they should be aware of these new obligations pertaining to student questioning.

Before detaining and questioning on school grounds a student who is younger than 18 years old and who is suspected of committing a criminal act, law enforcement officers, school resource officers, or school security personnel must make attempts to notify the parent or guardian of the detention and questioning, document the time and manner of the notification, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that the parent or guardian is present during the detention and questioning.

In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be located or is unable to be present during the questioning, law enforcement must ensure that a school mental health professional, such as a school social worker, school psychologist, school nurse, or school guidance counselor, is present with the student during questioning. Law enforcement officials are encouraged to have present other law enforcement individuals who are trained in working with youth interrogations.

School officials may provide assistance and cooperation to law enforcement officials, school resource officers, and school security personnel to meet their obligations under the new law.

This law does not limit the ability of law enforcement officials to make lawful arrests on school grounds, and does not apply in circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe immediate action is necessary to prevent bodily harm or injury to the student or other person, apprehend an armed or fleeing suspect, prevent destruction of evidence, or address an emergency or other dangerous situation. It applies to both elementary and secondary schools and is in effect immediately.

Read the full text of the law here: House Bill 2627.

Please contact Vanessa Clohessy or Jessica Nguyen with questions about this new law.

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