EDITORIAL: DARE Proven To Be Ineffective 

EDITORIAL: DARE Proven To Be Ineffective 
Posted by FoM on October 09, 2000 at 10:13:14 PT
Staff Editorial, Michigan Daily U. Michigan
Source: U-WIRE
Some Metro Detroit schools are ditching Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE). Why? Because DARE doesn't keep kids off drugs. Begun by officer Darryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1983, the DARE program has expanded to thousands of schools in all 50 states. According to DARE's own figures, it currently reaches more than 30 million mostly fifth-grade students annually. Indeed, in most communities the DARE program is wildly popular with police, students and parents alike. 
Even President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno have both spoken in support of DARE. There's one problem. DARE doesn't work. While the program is almost certainly effective in giving fifth-graders a positive impression of police officers and offers some useful information about the nature of the drugs themselves, the central message of DARE, zero tolerance, is inherently flawed. In a variety of studies, none could prove that DARE successfully reduces drug use among its graduates. The Detroit News study corroborates a large body of evidence suggesting DARE has no impact on drug use. The largest of these studies, conducted jointly by the U.S. Justice Department and the prestigious Research Triangle Institute concluded that DARE appears to have "a limited to essentially nonexistent effect" on drug use. The program fails because of an inherently flawed message to kids. DARE teaches zero use -- that any alcohol, drug or tobacco use leads to addiction. Scientists have suggested a variety of reasons why this policy fails, but some fault the simple fact that despite the program's best intentions, most students will inevitably experiment with drugs -- either alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. Some argue that when this experimentation doesn't lead to the hopeless addiction portrayed by the DARE materials, the students disregard the entire message. Others have gone so far as to suggest that this blanket treatment of all drugs might actually increase drug use by de-emphasizing the more accurate portrayal of hard drugs, encouraging experimentation in a so-called boomerang effect. For its ineffectiveness, DARE consumes an impressive amount of tax money. Because it is funded through a variety of sources and largely de-centralized, it is impossible to determine exactly how much money goes into DARE programs nationwide. Glenn Levant, the DARE executive director, claims the program consumes more than $750 million per year from both public and private sources. Although corporations provide a large portion of DARE's funding, taxpayers are ultimately providing much of its funding through federal programs, such as the "Drug-Free Schools" program or the Safe and Drug Free School Act, local governments or through police departments. Should DARE be abolished? No. Programs that place uniformed police officers in schools and offer objective and realistic information about drugs have a positive, concrete effect. DARE should reassess its message as it has been proven to be ineffective and federal, state and local authorities should make an effort to spend tax dollars on effective programs. Updated 12:00 PM ET October 6, 2000 (U-WIRE) Ann Arbor, Mich.(C) 2000 Michigan Daily via U-WIRE CannabisNews DARE Archives: 
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Comment #6 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on October 10, 2000 at 05:52:22 PT:
DARE Must Die
Anyone interested in this issue should go to this link: and either read the the superb review by Marsha Rosenbaum there, download the PDF, or order the bound brochures. It is well worth the time, and is the definitive word on this ineffective and harmful program that alienates children and fosters cynicism for the (increasingly few) good laws out there. 
Safety First
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Comment #5 posted by EdC on October 10, 2000 at 02:23:35 PT:
DARE proven to be ineffective
Should DARE be abolished?I'm a teacher. I have watched our local DARE team, made up of town cops and state police, come in and flat lie to the kids.I've also seen, at other times, the dogs "working" the halls, accompanied by cops dressed in black and looking very military. They're even starting to refer to the dogs as "officer" K9, etc.Should DARE be abolished? You bet. Parents should demand that teachers teach and policemen police. They should also demand that the Constitution be required learning in our schools.Think about the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The kids 'pledge' every morning, yet none that I have asked can tell me anything about "the Republic for which it stands." Can you?
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Comment #4 posted by tom on October 09, 2000 at 15:07:09 PT:
Another idiot 
 After citing all of the latest studies on how inevectual Dare is. This idiot says keep dare, just so we have policeman on the premises! Idiots all!!!!!
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on October 09, 2000 at 12:33:42 PT:
Police in the schools...why?
Ask yourselves these questions: *Why* do we need police in the schools? What purpose can a policeman serve in the school system? What role do they play in educating children? What are they teaching them?In the entire time I was going through both private and public school (in that order) I saw exactly 2 police personnel. Two. In 12 years. One was there on business unrelated to the school, the other was there as a sort of show and tell (Johnnie's Dad is a criminal investigator. Children, can you say 'criminal investigator'?). The latter, I admit, made us really think, by showing us a photo and asking us to look at it and tell him what we saw...or thought we saw. Very interesting lesson on how people perceive things differently, and a lesson I carried with me all my life.But neither one was being used as an implied threat, a means of behavior control. Neither one was there to frighten us into submitting to any whims of the State. And they certainly weren't there to lie to us.So, why have police insinuated themselves into the classrooms that way that they have in the last decade? Why have they been using a curricula that has (unlike the drug education I received in Junior High many years ago) been based largely upon stale old lies rather than factual information?The only reason that I can think of is to accustom youth to the presence of police - and the threat of force that their presence implies - in their lives. In reality, the DARE officer serves much the same purpose as the GeheimeStatzpolezei and the NKVD/KGB did with their young people. And for the exact same reasons: propagandizing and intelligence gathering. And we pay them to turn children into unknowing little snitches, to invade our privacy in the very worst way possible, via eager-to-please little kids, who know not that the next thing they tell Friendly Officer Jack Boot could land them in a county child services ward while Mommy and Daddy are carted off to prison for cannabis use.  DARE deserves more than a simple dismissal; the organization dreamed up by Darryll Gates (the man who wanted to execute all cannabis users KGB-style with a bullet to the back of the head) deserves a more suitably ceremonial send-off. Couresty of a wooden stake through the heart. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 09, 2000 at 10:50:18 PT
My 2 cents!
schmeff when I was getting ready to post this article I stopped and read that over a few times saying what! Having police in schools is positive! I'm sure glad I went to school when school was school not a prison.Should DARE be abolished? No. Programs that place uniformed police officers in schools and offer objective and realistic information about drugs have a positive, concrete effect. 
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Comment #1 posted by schmeff on October 09, 2000 at 10:37:42 PT:
A prime example of logical disconnect.
Headline: "DARE Proven to be Inneffective"But, at the end of the article, the author makes this statement, "Should DARE be abolished? No." Heaven forbid we should discontinue a taxpayer-funded program that is ineffective!Why, if we took an approach that scrapped ineffective programs, how could we possibly continue the WoD? How could we possibly justify the HUGE industry that builds prisons, incarcerates millions of Americans (basically political prisoners), and removes civil liberties and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms while increasing the powers of the Police State.That wouldn't make any sense, would it? WOULD IT?!
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