BURLINGTON, N.C. – Fifth grade students at Highland Elementary in Burlington made a public pledge Thursday to be drug-free during a D.A.R.E graduation.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, or D.A.R.E, has been a staple in schools and police departments for decades.

“We’ve been doing it here in Burlington for over 30 years,” officer Michael Paschal said.

Times have changed and it seems that the list of negative influences for children today has gotten longer.

“Smoking, drinking, and then of course the current opioid problem that the entire country is having,” Paschal explained.

He said exposure to drugs, including opioid-related issues, could happen as early as middle school, reinforcement as to why D.A.R.E in schools is still relevant.

“You start seeing it in middle school and certainly into high school, so we teach our elementary curriculum, our fifth graders, to try to prepare them for that leap they make to middle school,” Paschal said.

Students shared what they learned across the 10-week program.

“We talked about what’s in drugs and how they make you feel and [the program] talked about what could happen to you if you did it,” Christina Bowers said.

“We realized that if someone is peer-pressuring you, you need to stay away from them and maybe just tell them no and if they’re telling you to do drugs, you can close your mouth or give a reason why not to,” Ethan Fogleman said.

More than 4,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 died from a drug overdose in 2015, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens.

According to the data sheet, that included cocaine, heroin and “other illicit opioids.”

It’s hard to prove statistically if the program will make a difference down the road in a child’s life, but Burlington police believe in the investment.

“Any type of preventative work that can be done, any time that you can open up the doors of communication between law enforcement and the community absolutely is going to make a difference in at least one person’s life,” Sgt. Jennifer Matherly said.

D.A.R.E covers other topics including bullying, violence and peer pressure.

Burlington police are hoping to start a pilot program that will offer D.A.R.E to first and second grade students as early as spring 2018.

From Fox8

Michigan Avenue D.A.R.E. Holds Graduation

D.A.R.E. Program essay winners were announced during this week’s graduation ceremony. On the front row, from left to right, are Abby Eble, Maliyah Woods and Madeline Schultz. On the back row, from left, are SRO Richard Allman, SRO Lt. Russ Henry, School Board member...

Worland Fifth-Graders Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

WORLAND – Friday afternoon, Worland fifth-graders celebrated their graduation from the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program with a small celebration in the café-gym-atorium of Worland’s West Side Elementary School with guest speakers, recognition of...

WD Middle School Students Graduate from D.A.R.E.

A number of West Delaware Middle School recently graduated from the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E. – which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education – has undergone several curriculum changes over the years to keep pace with drug trends and resistance strategies. The...

Mill Creek Elementary School (Columbia, SC) D.A.R.E. Graduation

Deputy Jordan had her 1st D.A.R.E. graduation today. Deputy Jordan put her heart into every word that she spoke to the facility, parents and students. Tears of love fell from many in attendance as we all could tell the close relationship that had developed between the…

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...

Fourth Graders at Freedom Elementary Graduate from D.A.R.E. program

Thirty-one fourth graders at Freedom Elementary feeling accomplished during their D.A.R.E. graduation. Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., is an eleven-week program that fourth-grade students across the country participate in to gain knowledge about the...

134 Students Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program at South Elementary

D.A.R.E. Deck – Hailey Deck, a fifth-grader in Mr. Widener’s class receives her D.A.R.E. Graduation certificate from Officer Mark Blankenship during the graduation ceremony at South Elementary School on Thursday, March 22. Kennett’s South Elementary School had...

Spanish Immersion School fifth graders graduate from D.A.R.E. program

Fifth graders at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School graduated March 23 from the D.A.R.E. program. Superintendent Carlton Jenkins, New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier, Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School Principal Elaine Mehdizadeh and New Hope Mayor Kathi Hemken...

 
 
 
 
 
 

Purchase D.A.R.E. Merchandise & Workbooks