Miranda Rights In Schools To Be Revamped

Aug 4, 2014

  Summer is a time lawmakers can work on legislation that didn't move anywhere during the General Assembly's spring session. One of those proposals would require schoolchildren 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.

Rep. Chris Welch (D-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," he said. "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 (R-Elmhurst) held up Welch's plan. Reboletti 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," he said.

Welch says he'll try again when the General Assembly returns in the fall.