Police Etiquette Video and The Controversy it Brings


Courtesy of Gephardt Daily.

Matthew Sims, Copy Editor

Permian seniors of the 2018-2019 school year have a lot on their plates this year. College, graduation, and the anticipation of adulthood all swirling together to one faithful day where they walk the stage for their final days as a senior. However, all of these factors could be made pointless unless you watch a 15 minute video.

A vote passed in 2017 made a video discussing etiquette with the police a requirement for seniors before walking the stage and could cause them to repeat their senior year if they refuse or are unable to watch in time. The school district decided it was important to emphasize the right way to speak with police due to an increase of issues during police-to-teenager confrontations. 

“I honestly feel like there’ll always be bad police, but there also will always be bad people in the world,” junior Rheta Salas said. “The world isn’t ever going to be sunshine and rainbows; there will always be people you can’t trust and having police that will protect you no matter what seems like a good person to trust. Yeah I’m not treated as badly as others, but I also respect the law.”

While it is a fact that there are racist and brutal cops in the world, this series of protests, distrust, and hate has turned the youth’s bias to a much worse direction. In a recent study, only an estimated 48% of teens in high school trust the law enforcement, compared to 64% of 2005 only 13 years prior. This distrust leads to outbursts from teens against the police that lead to violence, and what would be a simple warning or small ticket turns into assault of a police officer and jail time. Many schools also condone these protests and thoughts and this could potentially lead to more distrust and police attacks in response.

“I feel that the video could really help students avoid altercations like those we’ve seen in the past,” senior Jaslynn Minjarez said. “There were lots of cases where people got shot because the police felt threatened by the drivers hiding their hands or reaching for something out of sight. And even then, they try to talk and figure out what exactly you’re going for so they don’t shoot you for nothing. However, when there’s people that don’t tolerate police at all it makes the cops more trigger-happy than usual.”

Media has also been a tool to harm the reputation of the police, as it has demonized the force by only reporting on the grizzly cases of manslaughter instead of the police who help stop killers and save kids from abusive homes. An estimated 30,000 children were saved from abusive households thanks to the police in January 2017 alone, and over 1.5 million arrested drug abusers and dealers were arrested.

These facts alone make it seem that police are entirely here for our own good, however it has been a highly controversial debate for many years now and it doesn’t seem that it’ll change soon. The fact is that there will forever be police who are serving for the good of the nation regardless of who else is serving beside them.