The Texas Legislature, led by Dallas state Senator Royce West, passed the Community Safety Education Act in response to multiple deadly police shootings, which requires all high school students, police officers and new drivers in Texas to take a class on how to better interact with the police.
Earlier this week, the Texas Education Agency released its new “Flashing Lights” curriculum, which all high school students in Texas will have to take in order to graduate.
Each school will decide which course they integrate the police interaction material into.
A cheaply made 16-minute video, which can be seen above, is the primary instruction tool for the class.
It begins with West talking.
“The goal of the act was to define the behavior expectations of citizens and law enforcement during traffic interactions.”
“We know that in some communities there’s an issue concerning trust between law enforcement and the community.”
After West’s cop apologist spiel, the scene shifts to two young students.
One encourages the other to speed because she’s going to be late before they’re pulled over.
That’s the first “lesson” in the video.
“Obviously, if I go over the speed limit, we’re gonna get pulled over,” the young driver says.
Later, the video uses the traffic stop to show what not to do when you’re pulled over.
It depicts the two young students opening the glove box, fumbling with their phones and not placing their hands where officers can see them.
In another segment, Houston Police Chief Hubert “Art” Acevedo answers a question from a student about how to handle a rude officer or one without probable cause to make a stop.
“If you think the officer acted inappropriately, was rude or didn’t have a reason to stop you . . . remember, you can take it to court. A court will have a final say on whether or not you violated the law,” Acevedo says with a smirk.
“If it’s about the officer’s behavior or treatment, please contact that officer’s employing agency. They have investigators that’ll contact you,” he continues.
“And they will thoroughly investigate the complaint. Don’t forget, most officers in this state and even across the country now have in-car cameras with audio or on body-worn cameras with audio, so that will be the beginning point of the investigation.
Acevedo then says those who file a complaint will receive a callback notifying the complainant of what, if any, actions were taken.
Students are required to take additional sections not included in the video.
At least one section in the course includes false information.
“Although it is lawful for you to remain silent during a traffic stop, you are required by law totruthfully identify yourself when asked to do so by an officer. A driver or passenger can be arrested for giving false identifying information to an officer,” Section 2 of the course reads.
This is false.
Actually, according to Texas Penal Code 38.02, a person can only be arrested for false identification if the person intentionally refuses to give his name, address and date of birth if they have been lawfully arrested and their information was requested; or if they give false ID, which is not the same as remaining silent.
Read the entire course resource used by teachers below.