What is National D.A.R.E. Day?
Every year on the third Thursday of April, the National D.A.R.E. Day is observed by a variety of schools around the country. Parents and students are invited to these local events to celebrate the graduation of the D.A.R.E. program which has been effective in teaching students the dangers associated with drugs, gangs, and violence.
The acronym stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education which represents an education program that has been instrumental in preventing the use of controlled drugs, becoming a member of a gang, and refraining from violent behavior. Local law enforcement team up with schools in the area to inform students through a 10-week interactive in-school curriculum about the dangers of drugs, gangs, and violence. After the program is presented to students from K-12, these kids are encouraged to sign a pledge to refrain from using drugs and joining gangs.
As the times have changed with drugs, gangs, and violence, so does the curriculum that was started in Los Angeles back in 1983 when gangs and drugs were running rampant. The need for education about drugs and violence has changed over the years with the recent addition of pertinent information regarding school shootings and the recent opioid epidemic.
Schools which utilize D.A.R.E. have police officers who routinely visit the classrooms or are stationed at these schools as a joint initiative to combat the struggles that youth face with drugs, gangs, and violence. In order for the police and the school administration to be successful, they must undergo training. Police officers take an 80-hour course which entails teaching techniques, communication skills, and child development classes. Courses for school instructors are 40-hours long to help facilitate a meaningful presentation for the students.
The Surgeon General has endorsed the progression of the D.A.R.E. program with reports that police presence in schools has made positive effects on the view of the police. Not to mention that the police are able to reduce the fear and anxiety that kids have towards school shootings and other violent acts from simply having police officers present on their campus.
D.A.R.E. continues to prevail in all 50 states as well as in over 50 countries around the world. Getting the word out about the real dangers of drugs and violence is critical while also giving the students hope that they will be properly educated by the school staff and protected by the local police.
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