Pubdate: Sat, 05 Oct 2002
Source: Post-Standard, The (NY)
Copyright: 2002, Syracuse Post-Standard
Author: Bill Lazure
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


To the Editor:

In response to the letter Sept. 27 from Elizabeth Sinclair Cady entitled, 
"DARE Gives Kids Positive Reinforcement," I can no longer stand by and 
watch our educational system become watered down with 
politically-motivated, "feel-good" courses.

Each school day is only six hours long. In that time, schools are expected 
to teach a myriad of subjects. For each new subject that comes along, one 
must be discarded.

DARE's goals are admirable - to try to teach our youth to make responsible 
choices. But is this the responsibility of the school system? When I went 
through public schools, their mission was to educate children for college 
or employment. Teaching concepts such as responsibility, self-esteem, 
values, etc., was the parent's job.

We currently have children who can't read at or near grade level. They 
can't locate their own town on a map or perform simple mathematical 
calculations. Might it be because their days are full of courses that have 
little to do with basic skills?

Since DARE has been shown not to reduce the number of children who later 
become criminals, the police resources spent on this program are simply 
wasted. Cady notes the benefit of using law enforcement officials as role 
models. If the police who currently teach the DARE program were out walking 
a beat in the area's neighborhoods, wouldn't this accomplish the same 
thing, while also allowing these officers to perform their police duties?

Whenever you hear someone calling for more "education" on a political 
topic, think about what the children will not be taught!

Bill Lazure

East Syracuse
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