Pubdate: Tue, 19 Aug 1999 
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
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 speed?

Keith Sanders

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