February 24, 2018

My Trip with Daren

Posted on May 21, 2014 by in Hometown, Kids, Missouri

Daren Thumbs Up

Hi! I’m here to tell you about my trip with Daren and about how much he taught me about D.A.R.E.

About one week ago, I was in my room and listening to music when I heard a bang at my window. So I went to check it out. When I opened the window, Daren hopped into my room! He said that we were going to take a little trip. So, I hopped out of bed and went with him.

Outside, Daren had the D.A.R.E. Officer’s Car parked in front of my house. WE got into the car and rode off. Our first stop was at Fallert’s Bus Co.

“Why are we here?” I said.

“We’re here to learn your first lesson,” he said.

“What is it?” I replied.

“Here we are going to look at a big problem, BULLYING. Many kids get bullied on the bus but some get bullied at school. Bullies can attacj anywhere, like at the bus stop, the bus, school, and places you might hang out with your friends,” he said.

“I have a question, Daren. What is a good way to safely report bullying?” I asked.

“One way is to write a letter to a teacher abut it and sign as anonymous. If you want to tell them in person, you need to use the 5 W’s of reporting bullying. #1 Who, #2 What, #3 When, #4 Where, #5 Why,” he said.

“Who are the people that see the bullying but don’t report it?” I asked.

“Those are called BYSTANDERS,” he replied.

“Next stop, Ste. Gen High School,” he said.

We got back in the car and drove off again.

“What are we going to learn now, Daren?” I said.

“We’re going to learn about PRESSURE and STRESS. At school, there are so many examples of Peer Pressure and Stress. Peer Pressure is when people your age try to get you to do something. Pressure is a force or influence that acts on you to do something. Stress is any strain, pressure , or excitement felt about a situation or event,” he said.

“Daren, what are some signs of stress?” I asked.

Daren replied, “Well, some could be frustration, embarrassment, sadness or madness. Good ways to handle stress are listen to music or you could ride your bike.”

“Hey, Daren, what are some ways to handle pressure and peer pressure?” I asked.

He said, “There are many ways to handle pressure. Here’s an example. Oscar saw his best friend take money off the teacher’s desk. His friend said it was only $5.00 and that the teacher probably wouldn’t notice. Oscar’s friend threatened to say Oscar stole the money if he told. A good way to handle this would be to tell the teacher the whole story and hope that she trusts you enough to believe you.”

I replied, “Ohhhhhh! So, even though he told you not to tell the teacher you could tell the teacher without him knowing.”

“EXACTLY!” said Daren.

“Next stop, Ste. Genevieve Community Center!” he said.

I asked, “What are we learning about now?”

“We’re learning about making SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE CHOICES, RESISTANCE STRATEGIES and COMMUNICATION STYLES. All of the communication styles are: confident communication, unsure communication and demanding communication. The resistance strategies are: avoiding the situation, strength in numbers, walking away, saying no while giving a reason or excuse and changing the subject,” he said.

“What are good ways of making safe and responsible choices, Daren?”

“Let me give you an example. Let’s say it was after hours here at the Community Center, and you were with your friends and they asked you if you would help them spray paint the walls. Are they making safe and responsible choices?” he replied.

I said, “Well, they wouldn’t be making good choices if they are destroying someone else’s property, If I said no, I would be making a good choice! Daren, what resistance strategy would I use and what type of communication would I use?”

“If I were you I would change the subject and communicate confidently. Confident communication is the best way to communicate,” he replied.

“Next stop, Ste. Genevieve Police Department for our last stop!” he said.

We got back in the D.A.R.E. Officer’s car and drove off for the 4th and final time.

“What are we learning now, Daren?”

“Well, we are going to learn about the use of TOBACCO and ALCOHOL. The only thing is that I’m not going to teach it to you because your D.A.R.E. Office is!”

I was really excited when he told me that, because my D.A.R.E. Officer is AWESOME!

“Officer MCCarty, what does tobacco and alcohol affect in your body?” I asked him.

He said to me, “Alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes affect your heart, brain, lungs, your tongue, mouth, and other organs. Did you also know that cigarettes have 200 different poisons and that 400,000 tobacco-related deaths happen every year? There are also 75,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the U.S. Also, nicotine in cigarettes and chewing tobacco reduces the amount of blood that flows to the brain.”

“WOW!!!! That is really bad,” I said.

“Thank you, Officer McCarty, for teaching me about D.A.R.E.!” I said.

Later, I got back in the car with Daren and we went back to my house.

“It was really fun teaching you about D.A.R.E.!” he said.

Then I went inside my house and told my parents the whole story about Daren and Officer McCarty. That was my experience with D.A.R.E.!