Editor’s Note: Last week, my wife and I attended a D.A.R.E graduation program at our son’s school. If you’re unaware, D.A.R.E is a program offered in schools where local police officers go in and teach them about drugs, alcohol, smoking, and bullying. The program is about acknowledging that they learned about and made a commitment against those things. As part of the program, Camden was one of four kids chosen (out of about 120) to read an essay that he wrote about D.A.R.E. During the program, he got up in front of well over 200 people and read his essay. Unfortunately, the sound quality in the video I recorded was poor so instead I’m posting his essay below. I made only a couple of minor grammatical edits. 

Do you know what D.A.R.E. stands for? Well, it stands for Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate. This is the DARE decision-making model. It also stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. We use this model to learn how to respond to bullying, drugs, alcohol, and smoking.

Bullying is an aggressive, unwanted behavior used over and over again to isolate or harm another person. To report a bully you should use the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where and why. Telling is providing information to a trusted adult to help or keep someone safe. A good citizen is someone who helps someone out that’s being bullied.

Drugs and alcohol are bad for your body. They can cause memory loss, slow reflexes, and poor judgment. Alcohol is illegal for anyone under the age of 21. Mixing alcohol with medicine is dangerous. There are 75,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the U.S. Alcohol weakens the heart muscle and it reduces the amount of blood pumped to and from the heart.

Smoking is bad for your health. It is bad for your lungs and causes heart disease. Smokers have more colds and upper respiratory problems. In the United States, it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 (19 in some states). Smoking can also dry your skin ad cause wrinkles.

D.A.R.E is an awesome program that taught me a lot of stuff about how to handle drugs, bullying, alcohol, and smoking. I really enjoyed the program and wish I could do it again.

Here’s Cam rocking his certificate, trophy and medal (the four kids that read their essays got one).

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