District 203 settles Walgren wrongful death lawsuit

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District 203 settles Walgren wrongful death lawsuit

The Naperville Unit District 203 school board Monday unanimously voted to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of a Naperville North student who died in 2017, bringing a two-year legal battle to a close.

Douglas and Maureen Walgren, parents of  Corey Walgren, will receive $250,000 in the settlement with the district and the City of Naperville. The city council agreed to settle the lawsuit on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Neither the city nor the district admitted wrongdoing in the settlement.

In January 2018, federal Judge Andrea Wood dismissed the lawsuit, which claimed the questioning of the student caused a significant amount of emotional stress that led to him taking his own life, but the Walgrens appealed. 

The settlement follows recent legislation regarding student rights when being questioned, such as that which occurred before Corey Walgren’s death. In August, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law requiring the notification of a parent or guardian before students under the age of 18 are questioned by police on school grounds in connection with a crime. If a reasonable effort is made to contact a parent and they are not available, a school employee such as a social worker or a school nurse will be designated as the student’s advocate during questioning.

Sinikka Mondini, District 203’s executive director of communications, said in an email that the district will work with local law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with the law. 

“At Naperville 203, the student-staff relationships are of paramount importance and we remain confident in our staff who serve with our students’ best interests at heart,” Mondini said.

Attempts to reach the Walgren’s attorney were unsuccessful. 

Nicholas Chen and Olivia Berry contributed.

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