Did your school, or the one you now teach at participate in the DARE program?
Apparently, it was founded in 1983 (two years before I started school), but I didn't learn anything about it until I started student teaching and then subbing. But I didn't have anything to do with the program, so I have no insights.
But after a little research, here's what I've learned:
1. The programmed is designed to give teachers the skills they need to teach students how to resist pressure to do drugs, smoke and drink alcohol.
2. Police officers lead the program in your classroom for ten one hour sessions over the course of the year.
3. In Nova Scotia, RCMP officers visit classrooms for 17 weeks for this program. Introduced in 2001.
This unique program sees specially trained officers deliver school presentations to youth ingrades five and six across Nova Scotia. The seventeen week course addresses such topics as the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse; developing assertiveness and self confidence; and dealing with violence, bullying and gang behaviours. D.A.R.E . gives special attention to fifth and sixth grade students in order to prepare them for entry into junior and senior high schools wherethey are most likely to encounter pressure to use drugs.
HOWEVER, there has also been some controversy as to whether the program has been successful. Some reports suggest that students exposed to DARE, have a higher incidence of use of drugs than students NOT exposed to the program.