DARE program re-examined

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - There's been a lot of press recently about kids using synthetic marijuana like K-2 and other drugs, which begs the question - do drug prevention programs in the schools actually work?

At the Resurrection School, located in Price Hill, children have easy access to drugs and plenty of pressure to use them. But they also have the DARE program to teach them to make good choices.

Resurrection school principal Kathy Sparks says the neighborhood is full of challenges.

"There's drugs, there's violence, the police are here a lot and its good for the kids to see the police in a friendly, helpful position," she said.

DARE officer Michelle Richmond says she's trying to teach the students to make better life decisions.

"I want them to walk away knowing the consequences both positive and negative of their choices," said Richmond.

Richmond's supervisor, Lt. Emmit Gladden, says the program is all about helping young people become responsible adults.

"We're always trying to interact with the young people to hopefully have some kind of effect on character and the way they behave in society and carry themselves into adulthood," he said.

Fifth grader JaKiaya Murray says the program has helped her.

"It's going to make me a good student and its just going to make me good in life. I'm going to get a good start if I don't do it," said Murray.

JaKiaya's classmate, Hayley Adkins, says DARE has taught her to value her health.

"Its helped me not to do drugs because they're bad for you and they can ruin you," she said.

However, the DARE program has its detractors and several studies suggest its a waste of time and money.

"The program by itself does not tend to prevent drug abuse," said Nan Franks, CEO of the Alcoholism Council of Cincinnati.

Franks says keeping kids off of drugs requires a holistic approach.

"Now that we view prevention as much more multi-faceted the Dare program I think can be considered a good adjunct to the rest of what we need to do in the community which is work with parents, work with messaging and work with liquor outlets," she said.

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