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DARE Graduates Class Of 'Empowered' Fifth Graders

250 fifth graders get anti-drug course before entering middle school

About 250 fifth graders from got a sneak peek at Friday night during their graduation ceremony from the D.A.R.E., “Drug Abuse Resistance Education,” Program.

Run by the and taught to Mahwah’s students by Mahwah police officers, D.A.R.E. classes teach students skills that help them resist peer pressure to become involved with drugs, alcohol, violence and other risky behaviors.

According to Mahwah Officer Joe Horn, an MMA member who coordinates the program, D.A.R.E classes are taught as part of the core curriculum to fifth grade students, during health classes to seventh graders, and during Driver’s Ed to tenth grade students. Each curriculum is geared to each age group.

The MMA also “supplements our DARE programming with anti-bullying presentations in Joyce Kilmer and Ramapo Ridge Middle School, and do presentations about alcohol use to juniors and seniors at ,” he said.

During the ceremony, Horn thanked the district’s administration for “recognizing the importance” of D.A.R.E., and “allowing police officers to take up precious minutes of the school day with D.A.R.E. instruction.”

The students and their parents were addressed by Horn, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli, Mayor Bill Laforet and other members of the MMA. Laforet presented an appreciation plaque to Daryl and Jackie Secor, owners of , in recognition of the couple’s longtime support of the MMA and the D.A.R.E. program.

Students were told that they are “empowered” and “prepared” to make good decisions upon entering the middle school next year.

Have any photos from Friday night’s graduation ceremony? Add them to the gallery!

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Have a question or a news tip? Email the editor Jessica Mazzola at jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Bob June 04, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I'm sure DARE will work just as well as it has for the past 20 years. The cops get shiny new confiscated cars, the kids get a crash course in drug use whether they had any interest or not. DARE has been a tremendous failure, but at least it gets the cops fancy new cars for free to drive around town.
Regenbogen June 04, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Bob....sounds like you know nothing about DARE. Thank you Mahwah DARE officers for all you do for our children.
Bob June 05, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Uh, no, actually, I know DARE well, the Mahwah program in particular. It sounds like you are part of the failed War on Drugs that has only cause drug use to skyrocket since it started. Be a little open minded and TRY to think for yourself. It may not be possible, but try.
Roger Pachiderm June 05, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Bob I am not following your logic - do you mean to say that the cops confiscate the cars from the kids who come to DARE? I think it would be cooler if they confiscated the cars of people transporting drugs who are busted. Then the people paying the cars are the people selling the drugs. I am not sure taking the cars of kids is so nice. Plus they are kids how fancy could the cars be? I have seen some pretty fancy drug dealer cars on TV though. That would be cool to get one of those. Minus the drugs of course.
Roger Pachiderm June 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Bob thanks for clearing this up. Sorry I don't think for myself. I think the lack of hallucinogenic drug use has hampered my ability to expand my thought streams. At least that is what the free spirit who lived in the woods behind a the shopping mall use to tell me. If I only took drugs I would be free like him.
Regenbogen June 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Bob, ever see the movie, "What About Bob?".
Andy Schmidt June 06, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Bob, as a parent whose child has attended the DARE program in JK and the Junion Police Academy, I cannot say enough GOOD things about this program. While I try my best as a parent to share my insights, I am completely clueless about the current issues, lingo, practices, schemes,... regarding illegal substances. My child came back from these programs "armed" with specific warnings, facts, information, health consequences and other impacts that I would have been unable to "share" - because of lack of first-hand experience. My child is now equipped with arguments and techniques on how to stand up to peer pressure -- and is committed to use them. I cannot thank the police department, DARE officers, the MMA and everyone else enough for tackling this problem early and heads-on - instead of sitting back a few years so that the police could make more arrests. If your child has come back with different feedback, then you should definitely meet with Officer Horn and share your own insight.

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