There's something new in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic being taught in Texas high schools this year. It is a new course mandated by the Legislature to teach young drivers how to interact with police during a routine traffic stop, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The course is the brainchild of State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) who was motivated by the case of Sandra Bland. She was the Chicago area women who got into a shouting match with a DPS Trooper in Waller County in 2015. She ended up killing herself in her jail cell.
West says he knows that in some communities, there is an 'issue of trust' between the police and the public.
"We ar3 addressing that issue through training in law enforcement academies, our schools, and our drivers education programs," West said.
He says schools are a key part of the program to try to rebuild those relationships.
"Specifically, schools have to design a course to explain what the expectations are of citizens, especially when they are in school."
West says the course will mainly deal with routine interactions, like during speeding stops.
He says the same course is also mandated for police academy training, and drivers education.
It consists of four parts: citizen rights, the duties of police officers, how to behave during a traffic stop, and how to file complaints...or how to file complements.