Tips from Cleveland Metropolitan School District Safety and Security staff:
Parents never want to hear their child was stopped by police, but police stops do happen when teens have idle time during the summer, said Chief Lester Fultz of the CMSD’s Division of Safety and Security.
To prepare a child for the unlikely event he or she is stopped, Fultz urges parents to discuss proper procedures their child should follow.
First, parents should tell their child to carry proper identification. For students 16 years old and older, a driver’s license is recommended. But now that all CMSD students have been issued a PRIDE ID, they should carry it with them.
Here are additional tips Fultz, former deputy chief of the Cleveland Police Department, advises parents to share with their child:
- Don’t run.
- Keep your hands where the police can see them.
- Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions. Don’t get fly (verbally abusive).
- Don’t resist. Follow instructions — even if you believe you are innocent.
- Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
- Know the curfew laws — you may be in violation.
- Never bad-mouth a police officer, use good manners and common courtesy.
- Don’t get offended … try not to take it personally.
- Tell the officer if you have any special needs or are on any medication.
- Don’t touch any police officer.
- Remember or record the badge or car number of the police officer.
- Report the incident to your parent or guardian.
One more point from Fultz: As far as police officers are concerned, there is no such thing as a “routine” stop.
Article submitted by Justice Bernard Hill with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.