Pubdate: Thu, 19 Aug 1999
Date: 08/19/1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Author: Keith Sanders

EL CERRITO, Calif. -- Congratulations on taking a stand against
D.A.R.E., the police PR tool that masquerades as a drug education
program in classrooms nationwide (Editorial, Aug. 11).

I recently moved to California from Rochester, N.Y., where I grew up
and where I was compelled to take part in the D.A.R.E. program in
elementary school. I can assure you that D.A.R.E. is everything its
critics make it out to be--a simplistic propaganda program that's
supposed to "scare kids straight" but which, in reality, just insults
the intelligence of the children it targets. Fortunately for my high
school-age brother, Rochester schools have since dropped the program.

D.A.R.E. force-feeds lies and propaganda to our kids about relatively
benign drugs like marijuana, equating recreational pot use with
hard-core heroin addiction. When kids find out that they've been lied
to about pot, they make the perfectly reasonable conclusion that
everything else was a lie too--so why not go ahead and try heroin or

Keith Sanders