Henning students praise school’s DARE program [UPDATED]Published 10:30am Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Updated 11:53am Tuesday, May 17, 2011
As part of this spring’s DARE program, Henning Police Chief Mike Helle arranged for sixth graders to visit the county jail and courtroom at the county courthouse in Fergus Falls. Many of the students talked about the effects of drugs and what they really do to people.
“I hope this is the first and last time that you see the courtroom and jail,” said Helle to the students.
On Friday, during a DARE recognition ceremony at Henning Public School, Helle repeated that statement to students and family members.
The DARE program in Henning was taught over a 12-week period by Helle and school teachers Scott Hart and Dana Damm. DARE refers to Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
“We’re fortunate that our sixth graders could participate in this program,” said Principal Thomas Williams. “The students learned to identify and resist pressures that lead to the use of dangerous drugs and violence.”
DARE lessons focus on providing students with accurate information, teaching decision-making skills, showing students how to resist peer pressure and building self-esteem.
On Friday family members heard sixth graders read essays that were part of the DARE program.
“DARE has taught me how to say no to drugs and has taught me why they (drugs) are bad,” said sixth grader Lydia Hansen.
Students learned that marijuana is an addictive drug, and they also learned about the severe and adverse effects of meth. Helle and the instructors also pointed out that even alcohol and tobacco have adverse effects on society, even though meth may be more harmful.
“Don’t mix alcohol and medications,” said one student while reading his essay.
The Minnesota DARE program is taught by specially trained, uniformed law enforcement officers. Annually, they instruct over 70,000 students. The prevention of substance abuse is a major concern in Henning and other communities throughout Otter Tail County.
The lesson presentations involve lecture, group projects, workbook assignments and role playing activities. The curriculum includes such topics as how to say no to peers, self esteem, assertiveness, resisting violence, consequences and decision making skills.
On Friday the Henning DARE students sang a song, which included the words, “Check you attitude at the door. We want to win in this drug war.” Each student who successfully completes DARE was awarded a
certificate of achievement.
Another said in her essay, “Take the right road to your destination.”Tags: Henning