Senator Whitmire files legislation requiring 9th grade students to receive instruction on law enforcement interaction

Published 9:18 am Monday, December 12, 2016

Special to The Leader


AUSTION, Texas – Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) announced today that he has filed Senate Bill 273 to require all 9th grade students to take a course on interacting with law enforcement. “This course will provide a valuable tool for our young people to have successful interactions with law enforcement,” stated Senator Whitmire. “Senate Bill 273 is an important part of our efforts to reduce escalated and too often deadly encounters between officers and civilians.”

The legislation will require the State Board of Education to adopt rules to require instruction in the ninth grade on the role of law enforcement and the duties and responsibilities of police officers; a person’s rights concerning interactions with police officers; proper behavior for both civilians and police officers; laws regarding questioning and detention by police officers; and how and where to file a complaint against a police officer.

“As we continue to increase training and standards for law enforcement and hold law enforcement accountable for their actions, we must also provide our young people with the knowledge of how best to respond to law enforcement and just as important provide an understanding of what their rights are when they interact with police officers,” Whitmire said.

Senate Bill 273 has broad-based support from across the state from school officials, community leaders, faith leaders and law enforcement. “There is no home team or visiting team. We must all come together to develop the best strategies to improve relations and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” stated Senator Whitmire. “Increased training and education for both peace officers and our students will help foster positive relations and interactions.”