Will Naperville CUSD 203 Correct Flawed Policy Leading To Student Suicide

This is a story that won’t go away, and it shouldn’t; questions need to be answered, and policy needs to be clarified. It involves the tragic suicide death (January 11th) of Naperville North student Corey Walgren. No parent should ever have to read a sentence with the words ‘suicide death’ along with the name of their child in it.

The details of the event are heartbreaking for all those involved, either directly or indirectly. A student, in this case an honor student, gets called into an office to speak with a dean of students and a school resource (police) officer regarding an alleged sex video, which turned out to be an audio. After a brief discussion, the student is left “unattended” except for a school employee busy with work, leaves the office, walks less than a mile to a parking garage and jumps off a parking deck to his death. This all happened within less than three hours. One can only imagine what was running through this young boy’s mind during those few hours, and especially minutes before his final and needless fateful decision. He’s gone, nothing can bring him back, and for him this horrible period of time is over. His emotional and physical pain no longer exist. For others the emotional pain remains.

This is where the story becomes boilerplate. A lawsuit has been filed naming the resource police officer, the school dean, along with school district (203), and the Naperville police department. As expected the school district and police department are washing their hands of any responsibility by claiming policy was followed. No one is talking other than to deny, deny, followed by more denial. How ironic that school system officials and police department heads portray honesty, and forthright communication as pillars for their foundation of trust and integrity, yet when they are asked to display accountability they run for cover.

Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall’s answer is that an internal police review showed no wrongdoing on resource officer’s part. School district officials confirmed that the dean of students followed protocol. I guess with those determinations, everything worked, all is fine, and there’s nothing to see here, so just keep moving along.

Those non-answers are not good enough; parents want real answers and change. If policy was followed, then policy needs to be changed. Considering that Marshall and District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges are two of the highest paid government employees in Naperville, solid, truthful answers need to be forthcoming, and drastic changes to an obviously flawed policy need to be corrected, with both Marshall and Bridges leading the way.

Show 2 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    I’m no apologist for the police or our overpaid underworked school administrative management but this kid did what HE did on his own without being pushed off the ledge. It is way past time that people are held to their own actions and not excused by being called snowflakes.

    If our schools and parents taught personal responsibility and eliminated all the crap about how abused the kids are by expecting them to act their age this stuff wouldn’t happen in the first place.

    Now we are being treated to never ending what ifs and worse more lawyers making mega bucks on the backs of we tax payers and the parents washing away their guilt by suing us.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    The Watchdog has posted on these events several times already and there has been much discussion about this case on this website. The Watchdog making yet another appeal for this case to be tried in the court of public opinion rather then a court of law can be described using the old saying about beating a dead horse.

    The officials in this case are doing exactly what they are suppose to do, not make any public statements or take any action that could be interrupted in a court of law as an admission of guilt or responsibility resulting in financial liability for their government organizations. Behavior that creates legal liabilities that have to be pay for by taxpayers is something that the Watchdog is always complaining about. In fact one could say it is one of the Watchdog’s pet peeves, so it is ironic that in this situation he is berating officials for doing things his way.

    Once the legal dust has settled and it is better know exact what, if anything, the court feels should have been done, that was not, these official will be in a better position to take action and make changes that will hopefully prevent this kind of thing happening again. But the reality is that no system is perfect, it is simply impossible to anticipate all possibilities, so no matter what is done it cannot guarantee this will never happen again.

    In the last several years we have seen way to many young people commit suicide in our community, many while at home under their parent’s supervision. If parents cannot see the signs needed to predict their child’s behavior is it realist to expect public officials too? Even people under the care and supervision of trained mental healthcare professions have committed suicide.

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