Peoria Public Radio Staff
Mon August 4, 2014
Legislation could require students be read their Miranda Rights
It happens in schools across Illinois: one student pushes another in a hallway, or there's a full-fledged fight. Often, police, based on- or off-campus will come break up the altercation. That means an official police report will be filed.
Representative Chris Welch, a Democrat from Hillside, says without reading students their Miranda rights — the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and so on — minors can often get themselves wrapped up in the judicial system.
"I'm trying to protect children from getting unnecessarily into the justice system. Data clearly shows that once a child enters into that justice system, that they're heading in the wrong direction."
But opposition from Representatives like Dennis Reboletti held up Welch's plan. Reboletti, a Republican from Elmhurst, says it puts school administrators in a tricky spot.
"The police already know what the procedures are and I don't understand why a principal's in the middle of determining who the police can and cannot talk to."
Welch says he'll try again when the General Assembly returns in the fall.