Officer Justin Stanford congratulates a student for graduating from the D.A.R.E. Program. Students were taught to say no to drugs and learned skills for handling stress and peer pressure.
KAYSVILLE – It’s a little word, but it makes a big difference.
So Heather Anderson had the students at Snow Horse Elementary practice it again, and again. Louder each time.
The word was “no.”
And because she had said it each time she was invited to take drugs or alcohol – starting in second grade and continuing through high school, college and her career – it has made a big difference in her life.
But because her little brother, Brad, instead said “yes,” when first invited to take alcohol and later drugs, she said his life ended early from an overdose.
Anderson shared her dramatic stories at the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation of sixth grade students at the Kaysville elementary.
She was joined by Jared Ward, a Kaysville resident who placed sixth in the marathon at the Rio Olympics, and Steve Hiatt, mayor of Kaysville, who also spoke with the kids about the importance of taking care of their bodies.
Anderson was Miss Utah 2007, and since then has visited more than 1,000 schools to talk about the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol.
“He didn’t think it was a big deal,” she said of her brother’s first use of alcohol when he was underage. “He never got caught and he thought he was fine, but he took a very big step down a very long road.”
After alcohol there were prescription pills and then cocaine building his addiction and affecting his weight, his ability to sleep and more, she said.
“It changed everything about him,” said Anderson. Seeing him change, then get desperate enough to steal medications to sell, then have an accidental overdose “was the worst and scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “My parents did everything they could but none of it worked. And it was because he said ‘yes.’”
Hiatt also contrasted his own experience with that of a friend he recently met, who had been in prison and lost the trust of his family because of his addictions.
While there weren’t D.A.R.E. programs when he was in school, Hiatt said he had parents who taught him the importance of saying “no.”
Even more, when he called them from a late-night party he felt he should leave, they didn’t ask questions or become critical, but just dropped everything to pick him up.
“Your parents are your best friends,” he said. “They will always, always, always come pick you up. Never hesitate to reach out.”
The mayor invited a student onstage and had her role-play a scenario where she was offered a pill to reduce her stress over homework.
Not only did the sixth grader answer “no” to his pretend request, when he asked her what she would do with the pills she said she would “throw them in the trash and burn them.”
Ward talked about his experience running in elementary school and how hard he worked to improve his race results.
“I realized I could do hard things,” he told the kids, encouraging them to say with him: “I can do hard things,” and then do them.
“It’s not just staying away from the things that are bad for you,” he said, “but reaching for the things that are good for you.”
Officer Justin Stanford teaches the D.A.R.E. Program in each of Kaysville’s 10 elementary schools.
School leaders praised Stanford for the time he spent getting to know kids and supporting their activities as he took them through the curriculum – which includes not only anti-drug information, but training on how to cope with stress, peer pressure and other difficulties students may face.
Having a police officer teach the D.A.R.E. program is a great way for the department to connect with the youth, said Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg, who also attended the graduation ceremony.
“This program helps personalize the police and give students a point of contact and a comfort level with them,” he said. “It helps show we’re about more than enforcement. It’s a perfect tool.”
From The Davis Clipper
"Drugs are no good, folks. And that's exactly what a lot of our kids realized today. More than a hundred middle schoolers graduated from Summer D.A.R.E. Camp. Our law enforcement taught those kids about the dangers... and how to not give in to peer pressure....
GROVELAND -- Chief Jeffrey Gillen announced this week that fifth grade Bagnall Elementary School students graduated from the Groveland Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. On May 29, 55 fifth-grade students completed a 10-week...
More than 200 Tunkhannock Area Intermediate Center fifth graders rose to the D.A.R.E. challenge on Friday by graduating from the 10-week course.
Best D.A.R.E. essay was written by Olivia Williams and it was read by one of the D.A.R.E. mentors, Isaac Clark…
Allison Littrell, Youth Advocacy Board Member from Washington, at Saint Joe’s Elementary School D.A.R.E. Graduation
Recently, Allison Littrell, Youth Advocacy Board Member from Washington, had the opportunity to speak at Saint Joe's Elementary School for the D.A.R.E. graduation. Allison said, "I had an amazing time being able to interact with students, explaining my role in...
The Butler County Sheriff’s department wrapped up another successful year of D.A.R.E. This year the Butler County Sheriff’s Office provided the D.A.R.E. keepin' it REAL program to nearly 1,500 fifth graders in 15 elementary schools both public and private. Each of the...
Officers involved with the City of New Brunswick's D.A.R.E. Program. (L-R) Officer Eddie Bobadilla, Det. Danny Gallardo, Lt. Raymond Trigg, Officer Hector Lugo and Det. Harry Hudson. The 28th class of New Brunswick kids to pledge to live healthy and safe lives...
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- The Hasbrouck Heights Police Department treated the town's fifth grade students to a party for successfully completing the D.A.R.E. program. Over 200 students from Lincoln School, Euclid School, and Corpus Christi School attended a private...
Celebrating 30 years of D.A.R.E. in Colusa County, Ca. D.A.R.E. Officer Leanne Knutson congratulates 117 5th graders who participated in our celebration…
Family and friends of fifth-graders at Camp Ground Elementary gathered in the school’s gymnasium to watch over 50 students graduate from the D.A.R.E. program. The 10-week program, led by Laurel County Detective Kyle Gray, educated Camp Ground’s fifth-graders on the...
Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.