Benton County Sheriff’s Office DARE Program
Not your grandfather’s DARE
The D.A.R.E. Mission
“Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives”
The D.A.R.E. Vision
“A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.”
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office continues with its’ presentation of the D.A.R.E. program to the schools of Benton County. We currently present D.A.R.E. to John Boise Middle School, Lincoln Elementary and Junior High, Cole Camp Middle School and Cole Camp Lutheran School.
We teach a standard D.A.R.E. course to about 250 students each year. This program consists of 10 classes for each student. We also provide instruction in safety for K through 2nd and provide adult/parent education in drug abuse, bullying and internet safety.
The new D.A.R.E., as I like to call it, is probably a bit different from the D.A.R.E. you may have been exposed to in school. While D.A.R.E. still discusses the hazards of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, especially as they affect young people. Our focus is on decision-making. Those of you who deal with teens may already know that they often do not have good decision-making skills. Nor do they look to the future to see how their decisions may affect them.
D.A.R.E. teaches a decision making model that gives students tools for making good decisions that can last a lifetime. They are taught to evaluate their decisions with an eye on how it will affect them in the future. I believe that this approach has a higher likelihood of success than telling young students to just say no.
We also cover such topics as internet safety, bullying, and legal issues. Students are encouraged to discuss decision-making strategy as well as methods to use to say no and remove themselves from situations where they are uncomfortable.
This D.A.R.E. initiative further allows positive interaction between members of the Sheriff’s Office and many young people in our community. This positive role model is invaluable in improving and sustaining relations with Benton County Youths.
Finally, most of the expenses for the D.A.R.E. program are supported by private donation. This support from the community shows the high level of belief in the program and its’ overall effectiveness. Any reduction in drug, alcohol or nicotine use, mixed with better decision making, has a positive effect on the County as a whole and obviously lessens the demands on Law Enforcement.