Police Chiefs and Sheriffs across the nation continue praising the benefits of DARE — Drug Abuse Resistance Education — and how the program is able to teach young people to say no to drugs, to resist peer pressure and to find alternatives to drug use.
These law enforcement leaders extoll DARE’s knack for forging life-long friendships between students and police officers, relationships that sometimes helped kids who were on the edge get back on track.
How do you count the millions of childen who’ve made good choices over the years and who didn’t get into trouble because they remembered what that DARE cop said who visited their classroom once a week for a year?
A survey conducted last year by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police — the latest of countless studies to gauge DARE’s effectiveness — found nearly unanimous support for a program born in 1983 on the mean streets of Los Angeles.
* 93 percent of students agreed they learned new ways to make good and informed decisions about using — or not using — alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
* 96 percent of parents felt DARE had positive effects on their children’s attitudes and decision-making.
* 97 percent of teachers felt good about having officers in their classrooms.
* 96 percent of principals felt the program fully met theirprofessional educational standards and practices.
That’s all A’s. And all good arguments for the DARE program.