School officials and law enforcement authorities in Illinois will be allowed to share juvenile criminal records on a limited basis under a new law that was prompted by a knife attack on a suburban Chicago teacher, reports the Quad-City (Ia.) Times. The law allows law enforcement records to be shared orally, but they can’t become a part of the student’s records or public records. Authorities can provide information to schools “only if the agency or officer believes that there is an imminent threat of physical harm to students, school personnel, or others who are present in the school or on school grounds.”
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill at Elgin High School. It was praised by Elgin teacher Carolyn Gilbert, who lost an eye in 2008 when a then-teenage student under investigation for two other attacks came at her with a knife. Gilbert, a family and consumer science teacher, told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald that she believes the attack could have been prevented. “It may not have happened to me if there would have been that communication, because he’d had [ ] other problems with the law,” she said. “If we’d known about that I would have never, ever been in the room alone with him.” Angel Facio, now 20, pleaded guilty to attempted murder for the attack on Gilbert.