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Student charged with eavesdropping after recording talk with principal.

An Illinois middle-schooler recorded a conversation with his principal about missing detention — and is now facing a felony charge for eavesdropping, according to a new report. Paul Boron, 13, was called to the office of Manteno Middle School principal David Conrad in February and began recording on his cellphone, Illinois Policy reported Thursday. About...
Time: 09:03     Date: 22.06.2018
Last US News: Student charged with eavesdropping after recording talk with principal. NY Post 24 - US News

Paul Boron, 13, was called to the office of Manteno Middle School principal David Conrad in February and began recording on his cellphone, Illinois Policy reported Thursday.

About 10 minutes into arguing with Conrad and assistant principal Nathan Short about his missed detentions, the teen told them he’d been taping the encounter, he said.

The principal allegedly told the boy he was committing a felony — and ended the conversation.

Two months later, Paul was charged with eavesdropping — a class 4 felony in Illinois — by the Kankakee County state’s attorney, the website reported.

“If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined,” said Paul, who lives in Manteno, about an hour from Chicago, with his mom and four siblings. “I think they’re going too far.”

Paul’s mom, Leah McNally, was shocked when she heard about the charges.

“It blew my mind that they would take it that far …,” she said. “I want to see him be able to be happy and live up to his full potential in life, especially with the disability he has,” she said. Her son is legally blind in his right eye.

While the Manteno Community Unit School District handbook says students shouldn’t record other students, it doesn’t say anything about taping an interaction with teachers or administrators.

Conrad and Short didn’t respond to requests for comment from the website, and the school district said it couldn’t provide any information about Paul because it was confidential.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Laws argued that the middle-schooler “used a cellphone to surreptitiously record a private conversation between the minor and school officials without consent of all parties.”

Illinois is an “all-party consent” state, where unless everyone agrees to being recorded, taping a private conversation is a felony.

In 2010, Michael Allison was charged with a felony for recording his own court hearing after the court didn’t provide a court reporter. That same year, Tiawanda Moore was charged for recording conversations with Chicago cops about her sexual misconduct complaint against an officer.

In March 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the eavesdropping law, saying it violated the First Amendment — but months later, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new one. The new law made it a felony to record a private conversation in which one person has a “reasonable expectation” of privacy.

But some experts told Illinois Policy that in Paul’s case, the principal shouldn’t have expected the conversation to be private.

“With authority figures, if you are engaging in official action, how are you expecting that to be private?” lawyer Saleem Mamdani said. “You are relying on the fact that you had this conversation in imposing current or future discipline.”

Paul’s mom didn’t immediately return calls.

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