YouTube Video from the ACLU
July 10, 2007 10:46 PM   Subscribe

ACLU and teenagers. Video that appeared IN a post on MetaFilter

Hey, everyone. Several months ago, in a post on something related to--well, I don't know what exactly--there was a link to a YouTube video, produced by the ACLU, on what teenage drivers (or anyone, actually) should do when stopped by the police. Does anyone have a link for this? I've gone through YouTube and MetaFilter, but I can't seem to find it. I'd like to show this to my students next fall on Constitution Day.

Thanks for your help!
posted by John of Michigan to Law & Government (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure it was the ACLU? Try this.
posted by lalex at 10:56 PM on July 10, 2007

The link from the BoingBoing post is dead - here's a copy of 'Flex Your Rights' on Youtube.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:27 PM on July 10, 2007

Best answer: Every teenager, whether they are doing drugs, drinking, tagging or just saying prayers, should watch this video. So should adults, and so should have Al Gore's son. More info at Flex Your Rights. Be respectful, and never consent to searches.

"Am I free to go?"
"I do not consent to any searches."
"I have nothing to say before consulting with my attorney."
posted by caddis at 12:16 AM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks, I'd been looking for this as well. Awesome video.
posted by phrontist at 12:47 AM on July 11, 2007

I'd like to show this to my students next fall on Constitution Day.

I think this is a bad idea. While the video does a nice job of explaining various considerations at play in police encounters, it is not exhaustive and is not completely reliable. But as a civics lesson (of sorts), it's a nice enough video.

But if you are teaching in teenagers, I don't think it is a good idea to show that video as an example of why our Constitution is great. Basically, that video was produced and done from a perspective of how to avoid getting busted by the Police when you are doing illegal actions. And it sort of implies that the Constitutional protections you enjoy exist to protect your illegal actions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Constitution's Bill of Rights protects all citizens from the tyranny of sovereign power. The problem attendant to those protections are that some criminal activity may go unpunished. That is a risk worth assuming given the immense value and philosophical justification for protecting the rights of citizens from governmental infringement. In other words, avoiding arrest as shown in the video is not a feature or virtue of the Constitution, but a necessary by-product of protections put into the Constitution for other reasons.

The people in those videos should have all been arrested. They all committed crimes. That we protect their illegal actions that allows them to avoid arrest is not something that should be trumpeted. Rather, on Constitution Day you should salute the genius of the Founding Fathers and why their grand experiment shown in the Constitution was designed as it was.

Also, there seems something fundamentally wrong of a teacher acting in loco parentis basically showing a how-to video of how to get away with criminal conduct.

Constitution Day is a day to celebrate our constitution which is law and that we are a country of law. Celebrating lawlessness is contrary to the Constitution and Constitution Day.
posted by dios at 11:39 AM on July 11, 2007

If you show this to high school students you probably are asking for trouble. It basically teaches, in two of the three scenarios, how to not get busted for using drugs. A lot of parents will think you are condoning drug use. I still think kids, and adults, should know their rights, it's just a question as to whether you will create trouble for yourself and your school if you show it to your students. If you do decide to show it, please at least obtain a copy for that purpose from Flex Your Rights.
posted by caddis at 12:41 PM on July 11, 2007

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