Pubdate: Fri, 10 Nov 2000
Date: 11/10/2000
Source: Tribune Review (PA)
Author: Dan Goldman

Franklin Park Police Chief Donald R. Dorsch demonstrated perfectly
what happens when any of us question the sacred cow that the DARE
program has clearly become (Letters, Oct. 27).

The impartial observers and DARE graduates, as I am (Teaneck, N.J.,
Class of '91), know what is and what is not a waste of time.

Unfortunately for the children in his district, Chief Dorsch cannot
fathom a science-based drug and alcohol education program without a
police presence in the public schools.

The opposite of DARE isn't doing nothing for our children, as the
pro-DARE zealots would have us believe. The opposite of DARE is a
truth-based approach to drugs rooted in harm-reduction techniques that
keep our children safe from the handicap of drug use.

DARE is nothing but a feel-good program for police and parents, so
they may delude themselves into believing they are doing something to
protect their children.

No matter what someone hears a child say at 10 years old, it will have
no bearing on his or her decision to use drugs at 15. When a child's
experience, and that of their friends, does not match the horror tales
told in DARE class, the entire time spent in DARE is wasted.

That seems grossly irresponsible and negligent, especially when a dud
is maintained at the expense of other, more useful programs.

Dan Goldman, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, University of
Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI