D.A.R.E. program is invaluable

Before students begin their holiday break, Marietta’s fifth-graders have been celebrating an important milestone.

Across the Marietta district, the students have been graduating from the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, after spending weeks learning the effects of drugs, violence and other behaviors and how to avoid them.

Though the D.A.R.E. program has been around since 1983, not every district takes part. We’re glad that Marietta students are getting exposure to this unique kind of education while in school, and grateful that the Marietta Police Department provides an officer to go into the classrooms.

There is plenty of valuable information shared in these sessions and the curriculum is frequently updated. Today, it includes more about opioids and bullying than it did a decade ago. There is some bookwork involved, but also games and conversation designed to make learning fun and even more importantly, to make it memorable.

Aside from the lessons learned, D.A.R.E. allows students at an impressionable age to form a relationship with a police officer, to see that officer in a comfortable, familiar setting and to put a human face on these lessons and law enforcement in general. There is also great value in that.

We hope the relationship between Marietta City Schools and the Marietta Police Department is one that continues for years to come, even as the D.A.R.E. program evolves and changes.