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D.A.R.E. - Drug Abuse Resistance Education

In 1983, it was apparent that stopping the supply and abuse of illegal drugs was a nearly impossible task. Children were becoming involved in the drug culture at earlier ages and in greater numbers than ever before. In order to educate elementary school age children to the consequences of drug abuse, the Los Angles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) combined forces to develop a drug abuse prevention program entitled Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.).

Being a parent today is a difficult job, but so is being a kid. Children today are faced with tough decisions at increasingly younger and more vulnerable ages. The pressure on our kids to use drugs progressively increases throughout junior high and high school. We need to help our elementary children develop the skills and knowledge to make decisions and to learn how to tactfully resist pressure from peers to use drugs.

The Oneida Police Department along with the Oneida Nation School System have implemented the DARE program. The other, and most important partners in the effort are the children’s parents. All of us, working together can save this nation’s most vital resource, our children.

The Oneida Police Department’s program started in 1989. To teach the program, an instructor must have 80 hours of training in the DARE curriculum. The Oneida Police Department has had a total of four DARE Officers. Throughout the 16 years of the DARE Program, there has been an average of 560 students graduate. This program has had positive results from the parents, students and teachers.

D.A.R.E. Teaches:

  • Personal Safety – Common practices to protect themselves. 
  • Effects of Mind altering Drugs – Students learn the harmful effects of drug misuse.
  • Considering Consequences – Drug use and the consequences that go along with them.
  • Resisting Pressures to use Drugs – Students are made aware of the kinds of peer pressure they may face.
  • Resistance Techniques – Learning different styles of saying “No”.
  • Building Self-Esteem – Learning about their own positive qualities and how to give compliments.
  • Learning Assertiveness – A Response style that helps a person state his or her own rights while respecting others.
  • Managing Stress without taking Drugs – Students learn that using drugs to relieve stress can cause new problems.
  • Media Influences – Students learn how the Media T.V., Radio, Newspapers, Video games influences them to use drugs and violence.
  • Decision Making and Risk Taking – To help students become better decision makers and the consequences of risk taking.
  • Alternatives to Drug Abuse – To show students that they can have fun without the use of drugs.
  • Role Models – To show the students that there are others out there that say No to drugs.
  • Support Groups – Showing the students that positive relationships with many different people are needed to form a support.
  • Dealing with Gang Pressure – Students discuss the kinds of pressure they may encounter from gang members.
  • D.A.R.E. Summary – Students assess and summarize what they have learned in form of a game.
  • Taking a Stand – Students compose and read aloud essays on how they can respond when they are pressured to use drugs. This also becomes their pledge to stay Drug Free.
  • Culmination – Students gather with their parents, teachers, school administration and other students for a graduation and to receive their certificates of achievement.

G.R.E.A.T. - Gang Resistance Education and Training

The G.R.E.A.T. Program started out in 1994 in Phoenix Arizona and in a short time has spread through out the country. The G.R.E.A.T. Program like the D.A.R.E. Program teaches kids the negative effects Gang life can have on them and their families. It talks about the violent ways gang members live and the laws they break.

G.R.E.A.T. is a life-skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T.’s violence prevention curriculum helps students develop beliefs and practice behaviors that will help them avoid destructive behaviors.

The Oneida Police Department implemented the program in 2000. There has been an average of 100 students graduate from the G.R.E.A.T. Program through the Oneida Nation School System. This program has had positive result from the parents, students and teachers.

The Curriculum that the G.R.E.A.T. program teaches to the students:

Truth about Gangs and Violence

Roles in their Families, Schools and Communities

Goal Setting Tips

How to make G.R.E.A.T. Decisions

Communication Skills

Empathy for Others

Responding to Peer Pressure

Anger Management

Resolving Conflicts

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design 

This program involves Police Officers, community members, and youth who find areas within our community to landscape. The people who live in these areas work together with the Police Officers to help landscape specific areas. This accomplishes many things; community members and Police Officers build positive relationships, the landscaping enhances the overall appearance of the neighborhood which reduces crime and community members take ownership of what they created and take more pride in where they live. The community members and youth also learn a skill that they can utilize later in life by learning about specific plants, shrubs, flowers, splitting plants, root systems, different soils, landscaping techniques, and the difference between perennials & annuals. Overall, everyone gets a sense of community, togetherness, and feeling of accomplishment. 

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