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Parents of teen who shared sex video blame school for his suicide

The girl he was having sex with didn't know he was filming—but his parents say the school's questioning was too harsh on their son.

Sep 14, 2017, 2:06 pm

IRL

 

Samantha Grasso

A teen’s parents are suing a Chicago-area high school for more than $5 million after their son committed suicide within hours of being confronted by school administration officials for secretly filming himself and another student having sex. The parents say the school “unnecessarily traumatized” their son by warning him the video concerned child pornography.

According to the Associated Press, 16-year-old Corey Walgren was called to Naperville North High School’s dean’s office on Jan. 11 after a classmate of the same age whom Walgren had sex with made a complaint that he had videotaped the encounter without her consent. At first, the classmate said she wasn’t sure if the sex was consensual but later clarified that it was.

In a meeting with the school’s dean and student resource officer from the Naperville police department, Walgren admitted that he had recorded a video of the teens having sex, though neither was visible during the two-minute recording. He played the audio for four friends, but allegedly did not electronically send it to anyone.

According to the school, Walgren’s mother, Maureen, was called, and the teen was asked to wait for her arrival. However, Walgren left campus, and less than three hours from when he was first questioned, committed suicide about a mile from the school.

While the attorney for Maureen and her husband Doug say the school came down too hard on Walgren and “scared the hell out of the kid,” driving him to commit suicide, the school says it conveyed the seriousness of the situation, but assured the teen the administrators wanted to keep the matter out of court.

The suit also alleges that Walgren was in de facto custody, which would have required the school to tell Walgren that he had the right to remain silent. However, the school maintains Walgren was never told he was under arrest, nor did the police officer in the meeting initiate questioning. It says the officer also made clear to Walgren he had no intention of bringing charges against him.

The situation raises serious questions of what role schools play regarding shared and recorded sexual images. While schools have faced backlash for not acting to support students who are bullied or harassed as a result of the spread of sexual images, questioning a student who is spreading the image is a different matter.

The parents’ attorney also alleges that the video shouldn’t be considered child pornography because there were no visible images of sex acts. The parents, however, do not blame the girl who brought the complaint to the school, and said she was right to report the video.

For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans(U.K.).

H/T Inside Edition

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*First Published: Sep 14, 2017, 2:06 pm