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New law requires Texas students to view video on how to interact with police before graduating

In order to graduate from high school, Texas high school students are now required to watch a mandatory school video about conducting themselves around police officers. (Image source: WSET-TV video screenshot)

Texas high school students should plan on watching a video about conducting themselves around police officers if they want to graduate from high school.

What are the details of the video?

A new Texas law mandates that high school students view a video on diffusing tensions between civilians and law enforcement.

The Community Safety Education Act was signed into law in 2017 and requires that all high school students watch the video — and take the corresponding class — on proper conduct when dealing with officers of the law during traffic stops.

Texas state Sen. Royce West (D) authored the legislation in an attempt to define the expectations of law enforcement and citizens during traffic stops.

High school seniors will not be able to graduate if they do not fulfill this requirement, according to the new law.

What is the video about?

The video, titled "Flashing Lights," utilizes re-enactments of law enforcement officials and citizens engaging one another.

The video includes pointers such as "Don't move around or reach for anything." Other directives include "Officers don't always have a clear view into your vehicle, so keep your hands visible" and "Let the officer know [if] you're reaching into the console."

The training video also offers tips to educate citizens on their rights, such as whether they must get out of the car, or decline if an officer requests to search a vehicle. It's also broken into four distinct parts, which include the role of law enforcement, citizens' rights,  proper behavior, and filing a complaint.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement produced the video, and collaborated on its content with the Department of Licensing and Regulation, as well as the State Board of Education.

What else?

West, who is featured in the video, said that the content was specifically designed to ensure a bond of trust between officers and citizens.

In the video, West says, "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."

You can watch the full 16-minute video in the player below.

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