Talk to me about the DARE program - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-30-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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I have seen so many mamas here that have pulled their child out of this program.

My children are going to a public charter school starting in August.

Please tell me what is wrong with this program? Why would you pull you child out of it?

I want to be prepared and armed when/if the time comes.

TIA!!!
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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Uh--my 5th grader was part of the DARE program last year and it seemed okay to me. :

Will watch for other responses....
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:58 PM
 
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My kids aren't old enough for it yet, but their school has the program. We will not allow our children to participate.

There are lots of things wrong with the program. First of all, I think it is a colossal waste of money, resources and teaching time. I would much rather that my children were learning math, science, art or music during the time that is squandered on DARE. I would also prefer that police officers were spending their taxpayer funded time doing something which actually improves the safety of my community. Despite the enormous hype around it, there is no proof that DARE works. To the contrary, there is even some evidence that kids who go through the program are actually more likely to take drugs than those who do not. I will not have my children indoctrinated to believe this "war on drugs" is anything but the tragic waste that it is.

For more on what is wrong with DARE, see http://www.drcnet.org/DARE/

Evidently, the school needs you to give permission to enroll them in DARE. I'm sure I will be one of the few, if not the first, parent to refuse permission. They will have to find something else to do with my child during this time, but if it's just sending her to the library to read, I'm fine with that.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:58 AM
 
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Thank you for your response. I've bookmarked that site and will read it later tonight. (I'm putting the kids to bed in just a sec!)
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
There are lots of things wrong with the program. First of all, I think it is a colossal waste of money, resources and teaching time. I would much rather that my children were learning math, science, art or music during the time that is squandered on DARE. I would also prefer that police officers were spending their taxpayer funded time doing something which actually improves the safety of my community. Despite the enormous hype around it, there is no proof that DARE works. To the contrary, there is even some evidence that kids who go through the program are actually more likely to take drugs than those who do not. I will not have my children indoctrinated to believe this "war on drugs" is anything but the tragic waste that it is.


i couldn't agree more...

we won't be allowing our kids to participate in dare either - besides the politics behind it, and our opposition to the doctrine; there is a lot of misinformation being peddled, that puts kids at a disadvantage in regard to being truly educated about the actual risks of particular substances.
dare didn't exist when i was in school, and now it's become an institution & almost a rite of passage in the public elementaries... complete with 'graduation' ceremony
one of the things that turned me off even more, recently - just on a basic level - was that our local police department used public funds to purchase a dare-mobile... a jeep cherokee emblazoned will all sorts of dare decals and messages. i'm still scratching my head as to how that particular investment is going to improve public safety (?)
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:45 AM
 
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DARE is a way for police to get kids to rat out their family members & adult friends. I took it when I was in school! They also do teach you to identify different drugs and what they're called & how they're used. I do remember thinking it was so weird to get told in every class, "If you know anyone who uses these things, please come tell me [policeman] so we can help them,". Yay right! I think there are much better ways a cop could be using his time than trying to get kids to turn in their parents!

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Old 07-01-2004, 02:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dready*mama
"If you know anyone who uses these things, please come tell me [policeman] so we can help them."
"help them by taking you out of their custody, and incarcerating them..."
exactly.
:Puke
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:10 AM
 
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My older three children took this program. I looked over the materials initially and thought it was a good program. Watching the results over the years, I think it is a waste of time and $. I refused to let my youngest take it. However he was homeschooled anyway

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 07-01-2004, 06:08 PM
 
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If for some reason my kids end up in public school, I will let them decide whether or not they want to be in the program.

I'd really prefer they learn about drugs from an unbiased source. The greatest book I ever read about drugs was Dr. Weil's From Chocolate to Morphine. He does not advocate for or against drug use.

I don't want them learning that drug use is somehow bad or wrong and that drug users are immoral or whatever. Though I would really prefer they not use drugs, it's not my choice to make.

If it were all up to me I would not let them in the program. Also, in my high school there was no mention of it.
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:13 AM
 
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Well, I talked to the secretary at ds's school yesterday. They do, indeed, have a DARE program. STarting in 4th and 5th grade. He's going into 4th.

They also have a sex ed class starting in the 4th grade. Called Health. They said we could look over all the material and preview the video (which you know we will)

My gut tells me the DARE program will be ok. I mean, they've already spent the money. I don't want my son to do drugs. So I must be missing the part where it's bad.

? for moms whose children have gone through the program: Is it a one day/week/month long thing? How long is the police officer actually talking with the children?
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:35 AM
 
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girl calling police saying " I need help my mom is doing drugs" for having a glass of wine (on dr recommendations no less for the heart thing)
and another child turning his dad in for prescription blood pressure meds.
Unless they have really re-tooled it they were not very good about the difference between legal and what the law says is not legal...

I wonder how they would explain the med mj in those states??
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:40 AM
 
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Quote:
? for moms whose children have gone through the program: Is it a one day/week/month long thing? How long is the police officer actually talking with the children?
It is a program that lasts two to three weeks....a huge waste of time in my estimation!

The drug programs I grew up with in the 1960's use lots of scare tactics that really were not researched well. Sonny and Cher did one.

DARE does not use scare tactics, but it is ineffectual. I seems to say there are simply better ways to be with your friends and better things to do with your time.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:46 PM
 
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Suzie, I pulled up an old thread "Anybody Skip Dare?" that also has lots of good info. I learned a lot from this thread. Also, there was just an article in the Harvard Medical Newsletter that showed that the research proves that DARE is NOT effective in the least. This is a prestigious medical newsletter, so I do feel they are on target.

 
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:05 AM
 
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Lauren,

thank you so much for your reply. I'll look up the thread you mentioned.
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Old 07-06-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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My gut tells me the DARE program will be ok. I mean, they've already spent the money. I don't want my son to do drugs. So I must be missing the part where it's bad.
I don't want my child to do drugs either, and the evidence is that kids who go through the DARE program are MORE likely to do drugs than those who do not.

As for them already spending the money, if I want the school to improve, whether for my kids or for kids yet to come, I need to take a stand. If a handfull of kids out of every class don't go through DARE, the school will be forced to come up with Plan B. I did say that I'd be happy to just send my kid to the library during the DARE hours, and I would rather she did that than go to DARE. But that's not the way I'm going to present it to the school administration. I'm going in there to talk to them about providing high quality instruction during the DARE hours.
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Old 07-06-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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DD has went through the DARE program and also a sex ed program. Personally, I don't have a problem with it, but only because we've discussed these things AT HOME too (where it SHOULD be discussed). DS #1 didn't have DARE but some sort of program through his school last year (2nd grade) and came home to tell me that it sparked some discussion, like how a classmate of his has already tried cigarettes and beer (from an older brother). Hmmmmm....
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:25 PM
 
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Dh and I had a long discussion about both the DARE program and the Sex Ed program. We will probably pull him out of both.

It boiled down to the school should teach the 3 R's and we, the parents, will teach morality.
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:18 PM
 
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DARE took my innocent six year old and 'convinced' him that crack cocaine was a bad idea.( I agree but he was SIX..come on people ....use your head...) Our school snuck in the permission letter at the beginning of the year. ( we took him out of ps at the end of the year) I hated that my baby was exposed to that kind of stuff. I hated that he knew all the 'hip' names for drugs. He didn't need to know that garbage. They basically armed him with information to take to the streets. Now the kids know what to ask for. To me it's like talking the "sex education" they give kids of the same age. Here are all the diseases you can get , here are some of the bad things that will happen and OH here's your complimentary box of condoms. Idiots.

I find it ironic that they take our kids (some without parental knowledge) and discuss peer pressure under the guise of keeping them off drugs. And we parents should let the kids do it because "everyone else does it".
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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Wow, I've never heard of DARE being offered to a first grade class before. Where I am it's 4th or 5th, depending on the school.

Personally, I don't have a problem with sex ed classes, unless they are of the "abstinance-only" variety. My big problem is with schools continuing very expensive, time-wasting programs that have been shown over and over again not to work (so the abstinance-only programs fit in that category).
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Old 07-09-2004, 11:27 PM
 
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DARE programs have been shown in research to have no impact on children's choice to use drugs and alcohol, so I would agree---why spend scarce resources on promoting and offering this program?

 
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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I went thru DARE as a child. I remember how we all though it was SO boring and stupid, just something to get us out of 'real' class.

It never affected any of our friends decisions on what to do about drugs.
I don't think most kids (at the jr. high level like we were) take something from a teacher that seriously. Maybe it was just us, but just because a teacher said XYZ didn't mean we believed it, and that went double for the dorky guy they had teaching us DARE.

As is was, we all went to DARE and all turned out differently. My DH's bestfriend blew his entire trust fund on serious drugs over many years, my bestfriend was terrified of drugs (even asprin) until college, and DH and I smoked a little mj in our college years and now are completely, hopelessly straight. I think it has to do with upbringing, and I agree DARE is a complete waste.
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Old 07-10-2004, 01:53 AM
 
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I remember doing DARE in the 6th grade. We learned all the "cool" names for all the drugs and what effects they could have on you. Both how the drugs made you feel (as in, why people did them) and what they could do to you that was bad. I remember all the discussions afterwards in the hall and cafeteria about how dumb the DARE cop was and how drugs weren't that bad and that they were just trying to scare us out of it. DARE might not hurt (though it could), but I would vote for keeping your kid out of it and teaching them about drugs yourself.

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Old 07-10-2004, 12:12 PM
 
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In reference to my post about my six year old going thru DARE:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom
Wow, I've never heard of DARE being offered to a first grade class before. Where I am it's 4th or 5th, depending on the school.
He wasn't in first grade. He was in kindergarten. In an all kindergarten school builiding. Yes. Kindergarten. They teach sex ed here in third grade. Eight to Nine year olds. Yep. Complete with the complimentary box of condoms.

Who was it that said (I'm too lazy to go find the post): let school teach the 3R's and parents teach morality.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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WHAT?!?! I teach fifth grade, and we don't have a DARE program at our school (although we do have an anti-tobacco program). We teach "family life" in 5th and 6th grade. We do not talk about STD's, contraception (or give out samples), etc. In 5th they learn about the body changes they undergo during puberty. In 6th they learn about reproduction and how babies are made. I can't belive that there is a school that would teach DARE to kindergarteners and full-scale sex ed to third graders. That seems so inappropriate to me! And I'm a huge believer in sex ed, but at an age appropriate time, like 7th-8th grade.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:58 PM
 
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And I'm a huge believer in sex ed, but at an age appropriate time, like 7th-8th grade.
T
There are 10-year-old girls in my area who have had babies...when should they have had sex ed?
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Old 07-21-2004, 12:27 AM
 
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Greaseball, I guess you're right. But 10 year olds are in fifth grade, not third. And I just think you're walking a fine line. I know some parents don't teach their kids anything, so schools end up having to pick up the slack. But I also don't think it's appropriate to freak out an 8 year-old that might be a little more innocent by describing STD's in detail. Students this age should know where babies come from, IMO, and most parents teach their kids this. I guess schools could be expected to teach the basics that early, but what the pp was talking about seemed a little excessive to me, with handing out of condoms.

And no, I do not believe that giving out condoms promotes children having sex. Nor do I believe that thorough sex education does. I strongly believe in giving kids all the information, and letting them make informed decisions. I guess when and where I grew up, children as young as 10 did not need to be making those kinds of decisions. I taught third grade, and I just can't imagine some of those kids being mature enough to process a thorough sex ed class. Some of my fifth graders couldn't even handle talking about menstruation, much less condoms!
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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Just wanted to pop in and share my own DARE experience. I went thru the program twice, our school did it in 5th and 8th grade. The idea was to pound the message into kids just before middle school started, and just before high school started.

I remember DARE being the biggest advertisement for taking drugs ever. The cop would tell us, "Now this drug....will make you feel very relaxed and happy. It will make everything seem very funny, and people who smoke it often laugh a lot. It may also make you mildly hallucinate"

I remember thinking, "That sounds really fun!!!" in the fifth grade. Now, I don't blame DARE for anything, but it certainly didn't do much to discourage drug use, IMO. It was more of a guide to different drugs and their street names and effects, coupled with ways to narc out your friends and just say no.

Coming from someone who has tried virtually every drug in the book, and doesn't want her kids to try most of them, there is no way I'm letting my kids go thru DARE. Well, we're homeschooling, anyway.
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Old 08-04-2004, 05:30 PM
 
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I did the dare program in the 6th grade, and I really don't see how it did any good. All it did was what everyone has already said. Describe drugs and what they did to the body...What did I do in high school? well, ok, I started smoking cigs at 16 cuz my parents and their friends did it, and I could get cigs from the 26 yr old friend my mom didn't want me to "see"

I had a sex ed class in 6th grade as well, and again, it didn't really teach me anything. I really think more parents should take the responsibility to teach their kids about the birds and the bees (so to speak) and drugs, and save schools for the things like math and science and music and art.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:47 AM
 
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One of the problems I have with DARE is that, at least when I went through it in 7th grade, they lie and exaggerate, which kids can see through. If they don't see through it at the time, they will eventually......

I was taught that marijuana could cause insanity. I swear, they must have gotten that from Reefer Madness. Even though I hadn't experimented with any drugs, nor had my friends, I knew that pot did not cause insanity or some of the other things the cop said. I found the whole program quite ridiculous and a waste of time.

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Old 08-06-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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I have taught 5th grade for 3 years, and we had DARE every year (not my choice). The kids really did enjoy the program a lot, but as others have said there is no proof that it works. I sat through every lesson, and I did not see evidence of drugs being a good thing, as they focused on bad side effects. They also didn't say to report people to the police. The officer was super nice and great with kids, and they loved him.

So, I feel it is a waste of time, as there are so many other things I needed to accomplish in my classroom, but not damaging to children, either.
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