West County city may drop program teaching kids about danger of - KMOV.com

West County city may drop program teaching kids about danger of drugs

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DES PERES (KMOV.com) – Schools in Des Peres may stop using the D.A.R.E program to teach students about drugs.

D.A.R.E, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, has been a part of the fifth grade curriculum in Des Peres over 20 years, but it may go away because the city’s Director of Public Safety said the program is ineffective and can encourage drug use.

“Studies for years have shown that D.A.R.E is ineffective,” said Des Peres Police Chief Keith Krumm.

Both Parkway and Kirkwood School Districts have already eliminated D.A.R.E.  Des Peres has continued to teach the program at St. Paul’s Lutheran, St. Clements, and St. Girard’s. Krumm said the program has been watered down to the point where lessons on narcotics are not taught.

“The D.A.R.E. program was never effective on reducing drug abuse and in some cases it actually increased it because it put the concept into children’s minds that had never heard of the drugs before,” Krumm said.

Parents told News 4 they were surprised and disappointed at the prospect that the program may be dropped.

“The earlier kids get involved in that and know what the problems are, the better it’s going to be for them. There’s no reason to shelter them something like that. Let them know what the dangers are right up front,” said parent Ray Donner.

Krumm said schools School Resource Officers may replace D.A.R.E. at schools in Des Peres.

“We want to keep interaction with the schools but I think we can modernize it for the topics that are more prevalent for today than the D.A.R.E. program,” Krumm said.

The Des Peres City Council will vote on whether to end the program at a meeting September 22. 

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