HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Teachers Now Fine With DARE Program
Pubdate: Wed, 04 Feb 2004
Source: Terrace Standard (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Terrace Standard
Author: Jennifer Lang
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


LOCAL TEACHERS are ending their fight against an RCMP anti-drug program
that's been kept out of the classroom for 18 months.

The union representing teachers here has withdrawn its grievance over the
Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education program, or DARE.

The move means an upcoming arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb. 5 has been
called off.

The Terrace and District Teachers Union had long opposed the program,
arguing it violated the collective agreement when it comes to professional
autonomy. Teachers objected to having RCMP officers teach the 17-week
program, resulting in a battle over who decides what's taught in the

But at the last school district meeting, Terrace teacher Frank Rowe told the
trustees that recent changes to DARE have resulted in a change of heart for
local teachers.

Rowe recently met with Prince George-based Cpl. Mike Legault, northern
district drug awareness coordinator for the RCMP, and Terrace RCMP Insp.
Marlin Degrand.

Rowe, who was president of the local teachers union when the school board
approved DARE in June 2002 in response to requests from parents, learned
there have been significant changes to the DARE program since then.

For one thing, the course is shorter. It's just 10 weeks instead of 17.

But more importantly, it's now taught collaboratively by a trained DARE RCMP
officer and individual teachers.

In taking these steps, the RCMP have significantly addressed the concerns of
teachers, Rowe said.

"This is an opportunity for everybody to come out feeling good," he said.

Rowe convinced the school board to soften the original motion approving the
DARE program. At the time, two Terrace RCMP officers with DARE training
offered to go into local public schools.

The board's new motion paves the way for teachers to bring the program into
their classes at their own discretion.

The RCMP is retraining DARE presenters this spring, so they'll be ready to
offer the revamped course next September.

DARE was developed to deal with drug and gang-related problems in Los
Angeles schools. It's expanded to 30 countries and is taught in neighbouring
school districts.

Two private schools in Terrace have used DARE.

It's targeted at students in Grades 5 and 6. 
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