Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a national program created by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl Gates in 1983 to educate young people about the dangers of using and abusing drugs.
The program is a powerful and effective method to help keep young people off drugs. It is rare when any of the 2,000 students who have graduated from the program have been in trouble with the law.
The program is offered to 5th grade students at Roy Waldron Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary School and La Vergne Lake Elementary School. Students have 10 weeks of lessons before “graduation” in May. At graduation, students receive T-shirts and a diploma.
At the end of the school year, graduates get to take a field trip that is sponsored by the D.A.R.E. program. Past trips have been to the Tennessee Aquarium and Nashville Shores.
Each year, the D.A.R.E. instructors teach “Stranger Danger” to first graders at La Vergne Primary School. The 4 weeks of lessons are designed as a precursor to the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. program. It allows the students to see the officers in a positive light and teach the dangers of strangers and drugs.