Pubdate: Mon, 21 Mar 2005
Source: Saipan Tribune (US MP)
Copyright: 2005 Saipan Tribune
Author: Marconi Calindas
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Youth)


To be free from prohibited drugs, to gain better self-esteem, and
become the best citizens the CNMI would ever have are just some of the
objectives of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, according
to its coordinator, police officer Tricia M. Seman.

More than 300 students graduated Friday morning from the DARE program
at Hopwood Junior High School. The graduates received certificates of
accomplishment from the Department of Public Safety.

DPS acting commissioner Bertha Tudela, who gave the opening remarks,
Education associate commissioner David M. Borja, and the DPS-DARE team
attended the commencement exercises.

Seman said the program started in January with 14 classes. The DARE
session is only conducted for 45 minutes each class.

Top students in each class were recognized during the graduation. But
one class had a tie for the top spot, which was the reason why there
were 15 awardees.

The event was spiced up by performances from the graduates and
"Naughty Boys." The little boy band sang their hit single Just Say No,
which proved to a just right for the occasion.

Division of Customs police officer Ray Arroyo and his team held a demo
on drug busting by using trained dogs detect prohibited drugs and
other banned materials.

DPS started the program in 1995 but has been conducting the program at
Hopwood only. Seman said only Hopwood could provide the logistical
requirements for the program. "Hopwood provides us the necessary
materials needed for the program," she said referring to the workbooks
and teaching aides for the program.

Seman admitted though that some other schools have approached her
office for the program to be conducted in their respective schools
too. But these schools, she said, are not able to satisfy requirements
to successfully administer the DARE program.

She said had it been otherwise, she would not also be able to promise
them that they could facilitate the request due to lack of support and
training staff on DPS' end.

Seman said that even if the students have finished the program, their
learning and training does not end there. She said students would have
to take the learning to a higher level by taking other courses being
offered by DPS, such as the Junior Police Officer program and the Law
Enforcement Exploration Program.

Police officer Joe Saures said there should be a follow-up training on
the new graduates because if there were none, values imparted to them
would not be reinforced. 
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