Daily file photo by Jorge Melendez
Evanston Township High School. According to ProPublica and the Tribune’s student ticketing database, local law enforcement agencies reported no ticket referrals from Evanston Township High School District 202 from 2019-2021.
William Tong, Assistant City Editor
March 5, 2023
A proposed Illinois bill would prohibit school officials from referring students to local law enforcement for ticketing.
Introduced by State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) in mid-February, the legislation amends the Illinois School Code to make referring students to a local public entity, school resource officer or peace officer for a fine illegal if there are other methods for discipline available in school policy.
The bill would only apply to violations of civil law or local ordinances — like fighting, littering, theft or possessing vaping devices — so school officials can still refer students to law enforcement for crimes.
The change follows a ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation in April 2022, which found Illinois students received about 12,000 tickets over the last three years as a result of schools referring students to law enforcement. Based on available information, ProPublica found Black students were twice as likely to be ticketed this way as white students.
According to ProPublica and the Tribune’s student ticketing database, local law enforcement agencies reported no ticket referrals from Evanston Township High School District 202 from 2019-2021.
The bill has been referred to the Rules Committee.
Email: [email protected]
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March 5, 2023 at 11:49PM