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.




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