Opinion

High school workshop coaches kids to file complaints against cops; comic Chris Rock had a better idea

Some liberal, somewhere thought this was a good idea.

Comedian Chris Rock had a better one – years ago.

The principal of a New York high school is bringing in the New York Civil Liberties Union to coach kids on how to interact with police officers, according to the New York Post.

And that includes instructions on how to file a complaint.

According to the Post, the training takes place in hour-long workshops, and includes pamphlets being given to the youths, titled “What to do if You’re Stopped by Police.”

Civil liberties lawyers teaching the workshops told kids to be polite, according to the Post, but emphasized a couple things that are likely to make any encounter with cops more unpleasant than they need to be: the teens are told they don’t have to show ID, that they don’t have to consent to searches, that it’s best to remain silent, and how they can go about filing a complaint against an officer.

There’s no doubt some libertarians think this is a fine idea. And there’s no reason any American should fear standing up for his rights to an agent of the state. But the reality is that high school students are generally not adults. Pretending that they are intellectually or emotionally won’t make it true either — and might lead to trouble no one wants, not the cops, not the kids and no their parents.

Some people who’ve actually lived in the real world of cop-civilian contact said the teens are being given the wrong ideas.

According to the Post, Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former police officer, said the “What to do” pamphlet gives kids the idea that cops are “public enemy No. 1.”

“It’s unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs,” he said.

On a lighter note, comedian and actor Chris Rock addressed all this years ago in just the kind of clear, easy-to-understand language teens can appreciate.

It’ll give anyone a laugh, but it’s pretty useful advice, too, starting with “obey the law.”

(Note: Some strong language. Fake violence.)

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