NJ may require teaching children how to interact with cops

A course on how to interact with cops could soon become a requirement in New Jersey. The state Assembly voted 76 to zero on Thursday to pass a bill that calls for teaching students in grades K through 12 how to behave during any run-ins with the law. 

People's Organization for Progress Chairman Lawrence Hamm said the Assembly should be focusing on reform within the police department.

"It's very telling about the aggressive nature of policing in this country when we have to have a course to train children to interact in such a way with police that won't leave them hurt or killed," he said. "It really says that in some people's eyes the problem is the children and not the police."

Others told Fox 5 that the bill is a step in the right direction.

The ACLU's Portia Allen Kyle said that when Assembly Bill A1114 was initially introduced, it placed far too much responsibility on the civilian. The amended version stresses teaching students their rights.

"Just by empowering people to know what their rights are and then also to be empowered to understand then to also know when [their rights are] being violated and to take appropriate action," she said.

The bill now makes its way to the state Senate for a vote. If it passes, classes will likely be integrated into social study programs by 2018.