Can my son’s college ask for information about a juvenile arrest prior to attending that college?

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Can my son’s college ask for information about a juvenile arrest prior to attending that college?

My 17 yr old son was arrested in May at the end of his senior yr for harrassement by electronic device. This was an issue not related to school or during school hours. This incident caused the mother of the victim to encourage two other girls to file order of protections. Because of the order of protections, while my son was on a school suspension his last 5 days of school, my son was denied the privilege of participating in his graduation ceremony. The arrest case was handled through the juvenile probation office. He is in diversion program. The college that my son will be attending in one month has asked for a release of information to be able to speak with the high school principal, a copy of the arrest record, and documentation that he no longer has charges against him in the case. Can they legally ask for this information?

Asked on July 16, 2016 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can ask for this: a college may legitimately ask for any information which may bear on an applicant's or incoming student's suitability, on the honesty and thoroughness of their application and of any other disclosures they made during the admissions process, and/or which could bear on any safety or liability (i.e. getting sued) threat the applicant or student presents, and information relating to an arrest which apparently involved other students at your son's school, a suspension, and the issuance of a protective order can clearly impact some or all of these factors. Therefore, they may inquire about it.


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