Texas Students Will Now Learn How To Survive a Police Stop

A new class about what to expect at a traffic stop is being mandated for all high school students.


|||Screenshot via NBCDFW
Screenshot via NBCDFW

Texas schools added something new to their curriculums this year: a course on how to go through a police stop.

In 2017, state lawmakers passed the Community Safety Education Act, which requires all high schools to teach a course on police interactions at least once before each student graduates. Schools were provided with a 16-minute video and related course work. The instructional video, which contains the robotic acting and Power Rangers-esque soundtrack some of you may remember from your own school days, is available for viewing below.

The related course work instructs students to follow various procedures, such as keeping both hands visible and on the steering wheel, and notifying the officer of their intention to reach for a license or insurance documents. The packet also informs students of expected officer conduct. For example, students will be taught that officers should obtain clear consent for a search. Should something go poorly during the stop, or even exceptionally well, students will learn how to file a complaint and leave a compliment.

Intentional or not, the tips in the mandated course resemble a discussion known as "the talk" that occurs between black parents and their children. (A digital media company called Jubilee Media recreated "the talk" here.) The conversation largely covers how to act during police interactions, which includes remaining calm and compliant. And while some brush off the concept, there have been a number of fatal interactions that have caused many to feel the need for such conversations and classes.

In July 2016, for example, the officer-involved shooting death of Philando Castile caused frustration after he was killed while attempting to comply with instructions from a panicked officer. Castile was not only forthcoming about the fact that he legally carried a firearm, he was shot while reaching for his wallet despite the officer's previous request for his identification. Castile's death is a reminder that citizens can do everything right and still suffer at the hands of law enforcement.

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  1. Ask permission, obey orders, and hope they don’t kill you anyway.

    1. Pro tips:

      Find a way to give them all of your money. Not in a “bribey” sort of way, that might get you shot. But more in an “asset forfeiture” sort of way.

      Offer to let them shoot your dog to appease their itchy trigger finger.

  2. Are there race specific versions of the class?

    1. The recommendations are the same, they are just more likely to keep you alive if you are white.

  3. Lesson #17: Talking about favorite music is a common ground for many people.

    “Officer, do you like Millions of Dead Cops?”

  4. Didn’t Chris Rock already settle this?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

    1. “Turn that shit off,” and “get a white friend.”

      Chris Rock used to be so funny until he decided he needed to be more PC.

  5. Pass or Die grading?

  6. Propaganda!

    How about teaching police that everyone they interact with are not murderous cop killers?

    How about teaching police that if you do not see an actual weapon and its being used in a threatening manner, is the ONLY time you can use deadly force?

    How about teaching kids that they have Constitutional rights and that means that you dont have to kiss the cop’s ass just because the police dont fully understand the laws that they are hired to enforce?

    My advice: When you are stopped, ask why and keep a professional attitude with police and expect a professional attitude in return. Never talk to the cops more than you need to and if cop is harassing you, demand a supervisor on the scene. Otherwise accept the ticket and fight it in court not on the side of the road.

    1. Cops are taught two things: officer safety and total compliance. Any perceived threat, real or not, must be met with force. Failure to immediately and unquestioningly obey is to be treated as a threat to officer safety. That’s all you need to know about dealing with cops.

      1. Someday you will have to write a book about all the cop related confrontations that you have had.

        I sense that you have some good ones.

  7. Interesting parallels to sex ed. Referring to it as “the talk”. Crappy awkward videos. Very different content and importance depending on your race/sex.

    Is this course necessary because black parents are no longer having the talk? Or is it necessary to help white kids understand this reality? Or have we just abandoned the concept of parenting and we expect schools to handle it?

  8. The related course work instructs students to follow various procedures, such as keeping both hands visible and on the steering wheel, and notifying the officer of their intention to reach for a license or insurance documents.

    We create laws and regulations for the sole purpose of making the work of law enforcement officer more convenient. This is not normal for a free society.

  9. A lot of the issues are that the kids tend to be insufferable cunts.

    Plenty of times I’d root for the cop to smack the shit out of them.

    1. In my experience, the cops were the insufferable assists. Try driving a yellow supports car as a younger guy. I’ve had exactly one moving violation in my entirety of driving, but I got pulled over a lot. Screamed at more than once by a cop, and the favor was returned.

      1. Asshats, not assists. Damn i hate autocorrect.

  10. When young and in my salad days I was stopped more than once for various vehicle infractions. I am white and of a definitely hippy/biker appearance. I always followed simple rules: hands on the steering wheel, look openly at the cop, make sure everything I did was in a measured way. If he wanted my registration I opened the glove box and sat back, giving him time to shine his light inside to make sure there were no weapons. No attitude, no sudden moves. None of the stops got out of hand, I was never arrested, several times the cop let me off with a stiff warning, and so far as I can tell I was never shot. Once in Nebraska the cop had me come back to sit in his car and saw me looking at his sidearm. He asked “does my gun make you nervous?” I said “no, I happen to like guns”. So we talked about why a .44 was a better weapon than a .357. It ain’t hard. Simple rule: don’t be a dick and by and large the cop won’t be one either.

    1. The part where are you say “I am white” has huge implications for how well your “Simple rule” works.

  11. So there’s the education system’s way of making a video while appearing “hip,” and the law enforcement way of explaining things forcefully; and here we have the worst of both worlds.

    I always want to show students the right way, before showing them what can go wrong. And I want to show them, not tell them.

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