JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – People who work around kids know that many of them begin using technology at an early age, but it’s not just tech.

“Unfortunately, they get involved at a younger age in things such as drugs, and bullying, just because of their surroundings,” Lieutenant Cory McBryar said.

That’s why the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) has decided to implement the D.A.R.E, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, program at local schools.

“It’s not just about drugs, obviously there is a part of that, but it teaches them life coping skills, how to resist violence, how to resist bullying,” Sheriff Donnie Edenfield said.

We’re told several JCSO School Resource Deputies were sent to a D.A.R.E training this summer to prepare for the program.

“They came back certified, so now the next goal is to implement it in our schools,” Edenfield said.

Officials say they plan to start the D.A.R.E program at Marianna K-8 this coming school year, then expand the program to other schools throughout the county.

The program will begin in fifth grade classrooms, and be a ten week course.

The Sheriff said the goal of this program is simple: “Often times they get influenced by the wrong people, and this is all about positive influences, getting them around the right kind of people, getting them in the right mindset.”

However, they hope the program reaches more than just school-aged kids.

“Things that really have an effect on them, they go and tell other people,” McBryar said. “They go home, they tell their parents about it, they tell their siblings about it, so we’re hoping it’s something that will effect them in a way that they will tell other people and spread what they’ve learned.”

We’re told the Jackson County School Board and JCSO are are working together to iron out the final details of the program for this school year.

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