D.A.R.E. is a police officer – led series of classroom lessons that teach children how to resist peer pressure and live productive, drug-free and violence-free lives. The program initially focused on elementary school children, but has been expanded to include middle school, Jr. high and high school aged children.
The primary goal of D.A.R.E. is the prevention of substance abuse and violence among school children. D.A.R.E. accomplishes this goal by:
- Providing students with accurate information about drugs and alcohol
- Teaching students how to say “No!” to drugs while providing alternatives to drug use
- Teaching children decision-making skills and the consequences of their behavior
- Providing life-skills to resist peer pressure and high-risk behavior
D.A.R.E. goes far beyond traditional drug abuse programs that emphasize drug identification and the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. These programs only warn children not to use these substances, but how to resist the pressures to try them. D.A.R.E. teaches children the skills they need to recognize and resist the subtle and overt pressures that may lead them to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
D.A.R.E. students learn about the dangers of drugs and gain self-confidence by acting out problem situations in a classroom setting. They are taught to keep their bodies healthy and to control their feelings when angry or under stress. Students are also taught how to respond when a “friend” pressures them to use alcohol or drugs and to recognize the various forms of influence from peers, parents, and the media. They learn to choose positive activities instead of just “hanging out” on the streets.
“New D.A.R.E. is setting the gold standard for the future,” says Charlie Parsons, President and Chief Executive Director of D.A.R.E. America, “Prevention inside the 21st century school house will need to be effective, diverse, accountable, and mean more things to more people, particularly with the safety issues that have emerged since Columbine and terrorist alerts. That’s one reason why every New D.A.R.E. officer is also being trained as a certified School Resource Officer (SRO).”
D.A.R.E. has been praised by presidential administrations, governors, members of congress, and state legislators. Since 1988, one day each year has been declared National D.A.R.E. Day by Presidential Proclamation. State legislatures have joined with the President and Congress by proclaiming D.A.R.E. Day within their respective states.
The D.A.R.E. program has proven so successful that it is now taught in communities in all 50 states, United States’ territories and possessions, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world. D.A.R.E. has also been adopted by 43 other nations including Colombia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Hungary, England, the Philippine Islands and many of the Caribbean Island nations.
Some interesting D.A.R.E. facts:
- The Perry Police Department has taught the D.A.R.E. curriculum in the Perry Local Schools since 1990.
- In the last 22 years, approximately 9900 kids have completed the D.A.R.E. curriculum here in Perry.
- In 2008, the core D.A.R.E. curriculum was moved from the Elementary Schools to Pfeiffer Middle School.
- With the money spent incarcerating one inmate, D.A.R.E. can educate over 3,300 children per year.
- In the time it takes to read this sentence, we’ve spent $1.20 for an inmate to sit in his prison cell.
- Drugs in the workplace cost American industry an estimated $250 billion per year.
Some activities of the SRO include:
- First and foremost the safety of both the students and staff.
- Assist School Administrators on investigations, truancy, discipline, etc…
- Address crime and disorder problems on campus by taking enforcement action when necessary. However, investigations will be conducted as needed, but officers will focus on prevention.
- Investigate child neglect & abuse.
- Meet with consultants and research new innovative ways to make each building safe.
- Conduct emergency drills (i.e. Code-Red Evacuations, Lock-Down Drills, etc…)
- Follow-up on investigations that are forwarded from the patrol division.
- Attend extra-curricular activities held on campus.
- Teach law-related educational topics to 8th & 9th grade classes.
- Safety Patrols in and around all 10 schools throughout the day and special events.
Programs provided by D.A.R.E. & SRO Officers in the Perry Schools:
- Eddie Eagle Gun Safety for all Kindergarten classes.
- Just say “No!” Club for all 3rd grade classes.
- Seatbelt Safety for all 3rd grade classes.
- Role Models for all 5th grade classes.
- Core D.A.R.E. Curriculum for all 6th graders.
- Summer P.R.I.D.E. (Police Reinforcing Important Decisions & Education) Program for 6th graders.
- Prescription & Over-The-Counter Drugs education in 7th grade.
- Classroom visitation for all grades.
- Discuss Ohio Law to Juveniles in Freshman classes.
- Choices: (Alcohol & Drugs) for Freshman classes.
- Responsible Decisions: (Alcohol & Drugs) High School classes.
- Talks to Boy Scouts & Girl Scout Groups.