Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dare to Dump D.A.R.E.

Oneida County is not funding the D.A.R.E. program next year and the OD calls this a "disservice."
The drug and alcohol awareness program helped educate fifth- and sixth-grade students each year about the dangers of illegal substances as well as the ramifications of getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence.
The presence of drugs and the number of driving while intoxicated cases do not seem to be going away in this area.
Obviously drug "education" has NOT been the answer because after educating almost a generation of kids on the dangers, the problem still remains. D.A.R.E. may have even contributed to the problem by making drugs and their effects familiar, lessening fear, and giving children false confidence that they could handle experimentation.

A better approach to the drug problem is more policing and crushing punishment.

D.A.R.E.'s loss should be a welcome gain to our school children. Frankly, I always thought D.A.R.E. with all its special projects was a distraction (among many), and contributed to our youth finishing school without basic competencies. Eliminating D.A.R.E. will free up time for education basics.

Dumping D.A.R.E. will eliminate an ineffective use of taxpayer money, and eliminate a distraction in school. Do it!


Andrew said...

As far as I know - and I could be wrong, because I haven't followed D.A.R.E. closely (it didn't exist when I went to school back in the "Just Say No" days) - D.A.R.E is one of those things that is just *assumed* to work, without any evidence. The system had no built-in metrics for how well it was working, but its wide acceptance meant that the schools could "just use it" without being questioned.
Unfortunately, a lack of quality metrics permeates public policy; most likely because it would kill a lot of sacred cows. The dreaded "No Child Left Behind" act, which certainly has problems, attempted to introduce metrics into the schools - and look how that's been received.

Munk said...

D.A.R.E is a waste of resources. It takes away class time from learning, to teach the same drug facts that get regurgitated in most health classes a year or so later. It was mandatory in my elementary school, yet out of the 40 or so kids who took it with me, I can think of 4 who have been booked on posession charges. That is just from one elementary school, for one year. Considering a majority of the names in the newspaper for posession/dealing are of the age where DARE was mandatory in the schools, I dounbt it had a big effect.
I'd like to see DARE do an anonomous survey of high school seniors to see how many of them have smoked marijuana, used drugs or alchohol, and regularly smoke cigarettes, as well if DARE made anyone even have second thoughts when they were teenagers about using.