The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program is
a partnership between Benson Police Department and the Benson
School District #777. D.A.R.E has been taught by Benson
Police Officers since 1989.
The core D.A.R.E. program usually starts after the Christmas
holiday break and lasts 10 weeks. This program is taught
to fifth grade students at the Benson JR High School. The
core program involves teaching young, but easily influenced,
children about maintaining their individuality while exercising
their right to say "NO" to drugs and other situation
that could be harmful or wrong. They learn how to say “NO”
without offending someone. During the ten week course, students
also learn about the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol
and several different types of drugs. All through D.A.R.E.
class they work on decision making and learning to make
the right choices. Students are shown situations that they
might encounter and how to properly deal with those types
of situations. Students are then taught how to effectively
handle situations and problems that might involve peer pressure,
violence, anger, and self esteem. The students also work
on self-esteem and confidence.
Since D.A.R.E. is taught by a uniformed officer, a side
benefit to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education is the interaction,
relationship and friendships these kids form with our School
Resource Officer. Children are given a chance to view the
uniformed officer in a different light instead of being
someone who is just there to "bust" them or write
their parents a traffic ticket.
The core D.A.R.E. program is culminated with a graduation
ceremony. The D.A.R.E. graduation is always a huge event.
Each year, there is something special planned for the graduates.
The Benson D.A.R.E. program is funded by donations from
citizens that get their cars unlocked by Benson Officers.
Also, a portion of fines involving drugs and alcohol get
put into a special fund to help pay for the program.
Officers at the Benson Police Department believe that the
D.A.R.E. program is really just the beginning of a very
long education for children on the subject of making the
right decisions and the dangers of illegal drugs. Parents
need to make sure that they keep an open line of communication
with their children to ensure that they can be involved
with them in making the right decision when they are confronted
with tough situations.