Austin, TX – A new Texas law requires that all students must be taught how to interact with police before they graduate from high school.
The Community Safety Education Act, authored by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas), called for students to be taught about how to act when stopped by police officers as part of their regular curriculum, KIII reported.
Senate Bill 30 was written as tensions grew in the wake of several police shootings of unarmed citizens, according to The Hill.
The required curriculum includes a 16-minute video, starting with an introduction by West, that goes through several reenactments of traffic stops and is presented in a what-to-do sort of format.
“The goal of the act was to define the behavior expectations of citizens and law enforcement during traffic interactions,” West said, looking into the camera. “We know that in some communities there’s an issue concerning trust between law enforcement and the community.”
The video and associated class are entitled the “Civilian Interaction Training Program,” and it is now considered a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the public high schools in Texas, according to The Hill.
The video began with a what-not-to-do scenario where two teenage girls did everything that you’re not supposed to do when you get pulled over by the police – such as reaching for things under your seat and hiding your hands.
The video explains what should happen when you’re stopped. And features a question and answer segment where “regular” citizens ask questions about how to handle their own traffic stops.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo made a cameo in the video to explain what to do if you think the stop or ticket was unfair, and how to complain about treatment by a police officer to their employing agency.
The video answered some common questions about why officers might ask drivers to put their windows down, and why an officer might ask a driver and their passengers to step out of a vehicle, but it did not address anything about complying with police commands or being taken into custody.
The freshman class that began school in September are the first group of students to be required to complete the instruction prior to graduation, KABB reported.
All members of Texas law enforcement must complete the training by 2020.
You can see the video below. WARNING – It’s awful: