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D.A.R.E. is making a difference in Chickasaw County.

Houston, Houlka and Okolona have all hosted D.A.R.E. graduation ceremonies over the last two months and that means every fifth grader in Chickasaw County has heard the critical message of this national program.

The program is an education program that was founded in 1983 as a means to fight illegal drug use among students. It has broadened into programs on alcohol abuse, tobacco, bullying and internet safety because our world – yes, even Chickasaw County – has changed dramatically.

Every generation has to explain to the next how drugs, violence, alcohol and tobacco can ruin your health and your life. Many parents and grandparents don’t know how to talk to their 5th grader about drug abuse and certainly not bullying or internet sex and safety.

So your Chickasaw Journal is glad to see all schools in this county implementing a D.A.R.E. program. Okolona was first more than a dozen years ago, followed by Houlka more than 10 years ago and Houston last year.

D.A.R.E. is funded with taxpayer money, both state and federal, and our very own State Representative Preston Sullivan (D-Okolona) was influential in getting a law passed that takes funds from every drug related ticket written in this county and using that money to fund D.A.R.E.

There are those who say DARE is not effective and just takes valuable classroom time away from students and teachers.

This newspaper feels if our community is doing something to help kids learn how to make good choices, it needs to continue. Not every child will be saved. But some will.

We’ve gone through the meth epidemic and are in the midst of the opioid epidemic. We also live in a society that says might makes right and condones violence and bullying.

And if parents are not teaching their children how to make good choices, our schools should.

D.A.R.E. is one of the ways this community – this county – can help our children live better lives.

From Chickasaw Journal

24 Police Officers Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

From left to right: Bridgeport Capt. Porter with School Resource Officers Staples, Cascante and Orlich. The three graduates join Bridgeport, Conn., police ranks certified in D.A.R.E. training. Twenty-four new officers graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education...

Pam Tourdot Retires After Almost 25 Years as D.A.R.E. Instructor

I want to say that teaching D.A.R.E. is the BEST thing I did in my career. The program is amazing. I remember hearing the words in D.A.R.E. training so many years ago…. “if you change the life of just one child it is worth it” ….. I believe I did that…It has…

My D.A.R.E Report

I think that D.A.R.E is very important, and I enjoyed it very much. It will benefit me in the long run as I grow older. In our 10-week class period, we learned about lots of things like stress, resistance strategies, the effects of drugs and alcohol on our bodies, and…

Standing Room Only for Local D.A.R.E. Program

Roper Stoots, D.A.R.E. Officer Tonya McWhirter, STEM Teacher Kristi Jernigan, and Christopher DeShawn Rush. Rush and Stoots were recognized for their award-winning App. It was a packed house at Louisville Elementary today for the annual D.A.R.E. Program as 282 fifth...

Local Officer Earns Statewide Recognition

Officer Mark Gilmore has been named the D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year in the state of Mississippi. Gilmore was honored Monday at the D.A.R.E summer conference in Biloxi. D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The D.A.R. E. website describes the program as...


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