VERNON, Fla. – Sheriff Kevin Crews is bringing back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program to Washington County schools.

The program hasn’t been taught in Washington County since 2007.

The course was offered to fifth graders at Vernon Elementary School and Kate Smith Elementary School in Chipley.

“What better way than to start, you know, with fifth graders. You know, before they go to middle school, before they get to high school and try to instill a positive role model with our resource officers,” said Sheriff Crews, Washington Co.

Crews said he wants to start with the younger generation so they will have an impact on putting a stop to drug abuse.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem. Ok? It’s a national problem, it’s in every community and it’s just not going to happen,” said Sheriff Crews.

D.A.R.E. is a ten week program taught by deputies that teaches anti-bullying, life skills, internet safety, and drug resistance. The program started earlier this school year. Wednesday, students who participated in the program, graduated.

“We feed off of them, you know. I’ve talked to several of them one on one, talked to them in groups and each and everyone of them, you know, seem to really enjoy going through the program,” said Sheriff Crews.

Sheriff Crews said he hopes that the information they learned stays with them for life.

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