Pubdate: Thu, 18 Oct 2001
Source: Dispatch, The (NC)
Copyright: 2001, The Lexington Dispatch
Author: Ray Carlson



For self-respecting citizens calling themselves educators to support a 
propaganda machine such as DARE only shows me how low we've sunk when 
hiring teachers.

Real education includes debate, whereas the Oct. 9th letter to the editor 
from Denton Elementary School challenged the fact that someone "openly 
disliked" the DARE program, as if those who dissent with the DARE program 
should keep their opinions to themselves!

The letter says that, "The students learn how to be assertive, stand up for 
their beliefs without infringing on the beliefs of others as well ." Does 
that only apply if they tout the DARE party line? What if they know that 
some states consider marijuana to be medicine? What if their parents 
support marijuana legalization, or even drug legalization altogether?

Do we include that point of view? Do we even allow these students to use 
their First Amendment right to dissent? Or do we drug-test them or their 
parents on the spot because they represent a point of view threatening the 
established so-called "wisdom?"

My point is that DARE does not provide all the information, which is why it 
simply doesn't work. In fact, children are more astute at spotting 
propaganda than their parents and their teachers.

Ray Carlson
Redwood City, Calif.
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