Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2000

D.A.R.E. returning to TES

September 20, 2000

D.A.R.E., a 17-week program designed to help teens stay away from drugs, will be taught in Tonganoxie again this year.

Connie Anderson, a deputy with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, has taught D.A.R.E. to Tonganoxie sixth-graders since 1990 and will be back in school next week.

Early this school year, when the sixth-grade schedules didn't allow for two hours a week for D.A.R.E., Anderson thought she might not be able to teach the D.A.R.E. program this year.

But last week, Anderson heard good news.

"D.A.R.E. classes will start in the fifth grade on Sept. 26," Anderson said. "So we're delighted, since Tonganoxie was our pilot school back in 1990. That was exciting news."

Leavenworth County Sheriff Herb Nye said he was pleased the program will continue.

Nye said it's hard to judge the long-term impact of the program.

"It's kind of like patrolling are we deterring crime?" he said. "In the case of D.A.R.E., the question is are we helping young people learn to make good decisions? We have to believe we are."

Nye said D.A.R.E. sometimes might turn the tide.

"I do believe that a lot of people are borderline and they're just looking for a way to say 'no' and that's what D.A.R.E. teaches."

It's important, Nye said, to tell young people that "the world is not led by druggies and crazed people that there is an alternative."

Nye said he appreciated the support given by Tonganoxie school superintendent, Richard Erickson.

"He has been leading the charge to get D.A.R.E. back into the schools," Nye said.

Erickson, whose daughter is in the fifth grade, said he's pleased that the fifth-grade teachers were willing to work D.A.R.E. into their schedule.

"The D.A.R.E. program is important for several reasons," Erickson said. "Reason No. 1 is that I don't think we can have too much of a drug and alcohol and prevention program."

D.A.R.E., he said, also teaches resistance strategies that can help children resist offers to use drugs and alcohol later in life.

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