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A Texas state senator proposed legislation Thursday that would have public school teachers instruct students on how to interact with the police if and when they are pulled over for traffic violations. Proposed by Senator John Whitmire, the law would require ninth graders in public school to receive lessons on interactions with the police, according to a news release from Whitmire's district.
The Houston Chronicle reported many other bills that relate to civilian-police interactions are expected to be brought to the capital by the time the next legislative session begins in January. Whitmire, a Democrat from Houston who chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, told the Chronicle the Texas Education Agency would be the institution to develop the curriculum for his proposed legislation.
Whitmire also told the Chronicle the legislation would improve relations between "peace officers" and students:
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. Increased training and education for both peace officers and our students will help foster positive relations and interactions.
Whitmire added that the committee has been researching officer safety, as well as officer-involved injuries and deaths. The Chronicle reports that if the bill passes, it will be the first law of its kind in the state.