The laws vary from state to state when it comes to recording a conversation without the permission of both parties. In some cases, such conversations cannot be used as evidence in court, and in some cases, it is considered a criminal act.
Manteno Middle School student, Paul Boron is learning his lesson the hard way. The 13-year old Illinois student is now facing felony charges for recording a conversation with his school principal and another administrator.
Boron was summoned to the principal’s office to discuss his multiple absences from school detention. Boron says he began recording on his cell phone while on the way to the meeting. He says that he barely made his way into the administration building, just past the reception area, when he began arguing with two administrators.
A heated discussion ensued, and Boron told the principal, David Conrad, that he had recorded their conversation and argument. The principal then informed him that he was committing a felony.
The county assistant state’s attorney two months later filed criminal charges against Boron. Court documents state that Boron “used a cell phone to surreptitiously record a private conversation between the minor and school officials without consent of all parties.”
Boron is being prosecuted as a juvenile and is charged with one count of eavesdropping, a Class-4 felony in the state of Illinois.
Boron’s mother believes the state is going way too far in prosecuting her 13-year old son. “It blew my mind that they would take it that far…especially with the disability he has,” she said. Boron is legally blind in one eye.
The issue is raising concerns about the state’s vague laws regarding such an issue. Only twelve states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful.
Is this a step too far? After all, he is only 13. Maybe the school should have taken his phone away and imposed another punishment. But criminal charges?
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