Beyond The Blackboard: DARE's Failure 

Beyond The Blackboard: DARE's Failure 
Posted by CN Staff on July 28, 2003 at 09:20:28 PT
By Anita Stackhouse-Hite, The Porterville Recorder
Source: Porterville Recorder 
It's hard to believe Drug Abuse Resistance Education turned 20-years-old last week. I remember the hoopla that took place surrounding the birth of the program when Daryl Gates, then Los Angeles chief of police, and the Los Angeles Unified School District officials came together with the concept that was to save teen-agers from the ravages of illicit drugs.
DARE's message and purpose was simple: Keep kids off of drugs, educate them, and help them have the courage to dare to say no to anyone attempting to draw them on to the dark side. Who can forget such vivid television images as the thin young woman with the frying pan and egg, cracking the egg and dropping its contents into the hot pan and declaring, "this is your brain on drugs," as the egg sizzled into oblivion. I've always wondered if that scare tactic worked. Apparently not.A few facts: In 2000, 47 percent of eighth-graders and 88.5 percent of senior high school students said marijuana was easy to obtain, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Approximately 24 percent of eighth-graders and upward of 48 percent of seniors reported powdered cocaine was easy to get.There's more, according to a fact sheet compiled in April 2003, by Ariel Kalishman of the Drug Policy Alliance:Studies have consistently shown that DARE has no significant effect on student drug use.Estimated costs of DARE annually is $1 to 1.3 billion.The Department of Education prohibited schools from spending its Safe and Drug-Free Schools money on DARE because they did not consider it effective in reducing drug use. Parent organization DARE America continues to receive money because it's trying to update the curriculum.National surveys report that more than 50 percent of American teen-agers said they experimented with an illegal drug before completing high school; 80 percent owned up to drinking alcohol during those impressionable years.Porterville's teen-agers are just as subject to the above statistics as the rest of the nation's young people, if not more so because of the high incidence of methamphetamine being produced and sold in our area. A case in point is the law enforcement drug raid early this month, which resulted in arrests at 18 locations including homes in Porterville, Bakersfield, Terra Bella and the Tule River Indian Reservation.During a telephone conversation last week, Marsha Rosenbaum, director of Safety First/Drug Policy Alliance, told me that, if nothing else, every scientific evaluation of the DARE program has proven its ineffectiveness. During this time of severe budget cuts in education, spending billions of dollars on a failed drug program is ludicrous.Without a doubt, even a small portion of $1 - $1.3 billion could be better spent educating parents on how better to help their children in this area and making sure teachers have jobs.For more information on DARE visit: http://www.drugpolicy.orgAnita Stackhouse-Hite covers education for the Porterville Recorder.Source: Porterville Recorder (CA)Author: Anita Stackhouse-Hite, The Porterville RecorderPublished: July 28, 2003Copyright: 2003, The Porterville RecorderContact: David_Arkin link.freedom.comWebsite: Policy Alliancehttp://www.drugpolicy.orgCannabisNews -- DARE Archives
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Comment #8 posted by Delariand on July 29, 2003 at 16:58:23 PT
Naturally, I tried alcohol and cigarettes years before I tried marijuana, so why doesn't the DEA go after the Marlboro Man and Jack Daniels?
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Comment #7 posted by delariand on July 29, 2003 at 16:56:46 PT
DARE does not work
Plain and simple, when I was young my mother told me she didn't want me ever to do drugs, that they had ruined my cousin's life, and that I could do much better with myself. That was enough for me, I swore I never would, and meant it too. Then, I went to DARE, and heard about all the wonderful substances out there. My curiosity piqued, I soon after tried marijuana for the first time. Finding out how much the government had lied to me about that drug lead me to try a whole host of others.Now, I don't know if I would have stuck to my promise to my Mom without DARE, or if DARE was the sole reason for my drug use. It sure as hell didn't stop me though, and it definitely was my first step into the world of substance abuse.Hows that for a gateway theory?
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Comment #6 posted by Motavation on July 29, 2003 at 01:50:42 PT:
Thank You DARE,For teaching me the difference between the bad pills and the good pills............Its all the rage Keep your eye out out for the GHB, "Student after class date rape drug", in your coffee Ms.Ursula Ortiz-Namoca when hurling, sharp, dangerous, projectiles at people."If they want to cause terror, they're gonna' do it."
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on July 28, 2003 at 12:07:03 PT
throwing more money at it does no good
it greases all of the palms and that's about it. a buck, a yen, a mark, a pound, it makes the world go 'round. teach children, not browbeat them into submission. one point three billion dollars that are never seen, just frittered out the window. does DARE lighten the room or darken it? four billion bucks a month in Iraq has darkened the world considerably! You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on July 28, 2003 at 10:56:46 PT
Put the money into music and art education
Teach kids how to express themselves using all of the means civilization has developed for this task.In one of the Gnostic gospels Christ says to Mary Magdalene that if you don't bring out what is within you then what is within you can kill you, but if you bring out what is within you then what is within you can save you.All the money they spend on DARE is to achieve a negative effect -- to stop something. It's not a creative program because it doesn't try to start anything. And it doesn't even achieve its desired negative effect.Art and music education is a positive goal that has a proven positive result of leaving us with kids who can play a musical instrument or make something interesting to look at. They can bring out what is within them using the traditional means of art and music developed by human civilization over the eons of existence. All of the time and money spent on DARE would be better spent on music and art education.And PE! What about the teen obesity problem? Let's get these kids moving again instead of sitting in front of a donut eater learning to spout government-sponsored rhetoric about drugs on command.There are so many good things that DARE money could be spent on other than teaching young people to obsess over drugs like the police do.
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Comment #3 posted by freedom fighter on July 28, 2003 at 10:38:30 PT
military police officers??
Police Officer Ursula Ortiz-Namoca watches Officer Chris Michaels' every move. When he turns his back, she hurls a pen at him. He whirls around, but he can't figure out where the Bic attack came from.Ortiz-Namoca is one of the mentors in the DARE (Drug Awareness and Resistance Education) program. She helps train police officers to become DARE officers, and a large part of the training is learning classroom management techniques."Never turn your back on your class," Ortiz-Namoca says. "If they want to cause terror, they're gonna' do it. When you write on the chalkboard, always stand sideways. That way, at least you know where the projectile came from."For the past two weeks, police officers from the Honolulu, Maui County, Kaua'i and Hawai'i County police departments, as well as military police officers, have been learning the DARE curriculum and training to become certified DARE officers.The last days of their training are spent in practice sessions. Each officer has 45 minutes to lead a class. The other officers role play as elementary school students. The idea is to get some classroom experience before getting in front of actual kids. In order to get the most mileage from the practice sessions, the other officers are instructed to "act up" like a bratty class.......................Snipped................... another DARE feel good..... What a waste of resources!pazff
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 28, 2003 at 09:38:16 PT
Thank You JR
I didn't know that. That is good news!
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 28, 2003 at 09:34:21 PT
Needle exchange
I saw over the weekend that on Friday, with no announcement or fanfare, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law a needle exchange bill. The article said there's less than five states left without them now.
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