MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- style="line-height: 200%;">Students from Bolden Elementary School graduated the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program on Laurel Bay Dec. 16.
The fifth graders completed the 10-week curriculum based on potential scenarios they could encounter and the negative effects of the most common illegal substances used. All culminated with writing an essay about what they learned throughout the course.
“I taught the 10-week course in the classroom that involved both homework and classwork,” said Chris Stephens, the school resource officer for the Laurel Bay schools. “Students learned that D.A.R.E. can be a decision making process that can be used for the rest of their lives whether its peer pressure, bullying, or saying no to drugs.”
The overall mission of the D.A.R.E. program is to teach students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives. The goal is to create a world which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and live their lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other violent behaviors, according to the D.A.R.E. program website.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 39 percent of high school seniors have used some sort of substance that impairs their abilities, and about nine percent of eighth graders.
“Saying no isn’t the easiest thing to say, but it can be the best thing to say in a bad situation,” said Emily Gayle, the South Carolina D.A.R.E. Youth Advisor.
The program was founded in 1983, and is now taught in more than 50 countries around the world, according to the D.A.R.E. program website.
“If you start your life making poor choices, the rest of your life can be impacted,” said Gayle.