School drug, gang programs sunsetting | RecordCourier.com

School drug, gang programs sunsetting

Douglas County plans on retiring its Drug Awareness Resistance Education program.

Douglas County School Superintendent Teri White said Tuesday that she met with Sheriff Dan Coverley, Undersheriff Ron Elges and School Resource Officer John Meyer about DARE and the Gang Resistance Education and Training programs.

“Last year, the principals asked me to consider discontinuing the program because it was not effective and it was taking away from instructional time,” White said. “The research on the programs shows little effect in changing behaviors around the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.”

White said the school district has standards for using drugs, alcohol and tobacco starting in the third and fourth grades.

She said she wanted to wait until Coverley took office before broaching the issue with the sheriff’s office.

“He was very receptive and would like to turn one of the youth service positions (those used for DARE and GREAT) into a fourth school resource officer for elementary schools at no cost to the district.”

White said the position would allow more support at the elementary schools and assist with prevention instruction, safety and security, and all of the school resource related calls.

“I think this is a win-win plan for our students,” White said.

DARE was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 as a means to prevent drug use among children there.

The program first arrived in Douglas County in 1988.

Douglas County School Board trustees are scheduled to hear an update on the programs at their Feb. 12 meeting.