DARE program can and must be saved in our schools
This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
Unfortunately, Franklin County school children's days with program are numbered.
DARE has been an active and vital part of our education system for a long time, but this year – with the county sheriff's office facing steep cuts – the program's neck is on the chopping block.
The commission says they cannot fund the correction officers needed for the new jail, deputies to patrol the streets and a DARE officer for the schools. Less than three weeks into this fiscal year, the city and county school system are not able to ride to its rescue.
There's really no way to measure DARE's impact on our schools. Does it work? Who knows. We think it does.
Regarding a DARE program, you're really in one of those scenarios where if one person benefits from it, it was worthwhile.
It may not be easy to measure the program's effectiveness, but it will be much easier to measure it once it's removed. Will drug problems among students increase? We'll have to wait and see.
That's an unfortunate side effect of eliminating a program such as DARE. You get to see how well it was working only after you cease the program and your benefactors begin to backslide.
Between county, city and state funding, there is a way to make this work. We hope the program can survive through this school year so a resolution can be found by the next fiscal year.
We don't want to find out how well the program was working at the expense of our students.