Fifth-grade students at Escambia County Middle School are participating in the D.A.R.E. program.
D.A.R.E. is a 10-week program, taught by Deputy Jeff Weaver, that helps students develop basic skills needed to make responsible choices that include abstaining from use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, addressing peer pressure and forming healthy friendships.
Deputy Weaver taught the students skills that extend beyond drugs and alcohol to responsible decision making, positive relationships, mature life choices, self-awareness and communication.
According to information from D.A.R.E. International’s website, the program teaches youth to control their impulses and think about risks and consequences resulting in more responsible choices. D.A.R.E. believes that if youth can be taught to make safe and responsible decisions, it will guide them to healthy choices, not only about drugs, but across all parts of their lives. As they grow to be responsible citizens, they will lead healthier and more productive, drug-free lives.
D.A.R.E. officers and other school-based law enforcement officers are the first line of defense in America’s schools. Their job is to educate children but also to prevent school violence. The D.A.R.E. program has evolved to include more hands-on and small-group activities, not simply officers giving lectures.
The D.A.R.E. program will conclude with students writing essays about what they learned and why they want to be drug and alcohol free.