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The DARE Program, Questionnaire Example

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Words: 969

Questionnaire

The D.A.R.E program is a 41 year old law enforcement education program for children in grade school. D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Founded in 1983 in Los Angeles, D.A.R.E has grown into a country wide program in schools throughout America. “D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives” (D.A.R.E. America, 2012). But how effective is the D.A.R.E program?

“The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to be taught by police officers whose training and experience gave them the background needed to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime” (D.A.R.E. America, 2012). However, in today’s world, many students are exposed to drugs and crime even before they enter the D.A.R.E. program. Can the program be an effective force at rehabilitating youths who may have already stumbled down the wrong path or is it too late for those kids? The odds of D.A.R.E being able to pull a kid off the streets after the child has lost their way are very low.

Another strike against the D.A.R.E. program is the growing rate of drug use and criminal activity amongst teenagers and even pre-teenagers, bringing into question how successful the program truly can be for children. “Scientific evaluation studies have consistently shown that D.A.R.E is ineffective in reducing the use of alcohol and drugs and is sometimes even counterproductive — worse than doing nothing. That’s the conclusion of the U.S. General Accounting Office” (Hanson, David. Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of D.A.R.E, 2007). This doesn’t sound good for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program- unfortunately the facts don’t look much better. The U.S. Department of Education actually prohibits schools from spending their government funding on D.A.R.E due to the program’s complete ineffectiveness in reducing alcohol and drug use. “In Houston, Texas, where a study showed a shocking 29% increase in drug usage and a 34% increase in tobacco usage among students participating in DARE, the police chief defended it by saying he would use the results to ‘fine-tune the program to better serve the children’” (Dineen, 2007). DARE is teaching students a falsehood. Not a single peer-reviewed published study has ever found DARE to be effective in reducing subsequent alcohol consumption or drug use in the child’s teenage years.

Despite being prohibited from being taught in schools funded by the government’s money, and despite studies showing the D.A.R.E. program that their education system is ineffective and counterproductive, the group still tries to educate the youth and offers classes for free to the public in an order to exploit the public. “Ultimately… the key test of D.A.R.E. is not popularity, but effectiveness. And as early as 1994 when analysts from the Research Triangle Institute published their findings, the word was out: On the measure of stemming teenage drug use, D.A.R.E. didn’t work. Children who went through D.A.R.E. were no more likely to “say no” as adolescents than their uninstructed counterparts. Ironically, exposure to D.A.R.E. may have increased children’s curiosity about some of the drugs” (Hansen, 2007).

It seems like the evidence is out on the D.A.R.E. program, yet despite the fact that evidence and the government is against their program, D.A.R.E. continues to try to pry their way into every nook and cranny of today’s education system.

Regarding whether or not non-human animals have feelings, I personally believe that they not only have feelings but they also have thoughts, emotions and yes, rights. I feel like it is absolutely arrogant for humans to assume they are the only living beings on the earth that emote. “Animal emotion is a complicated arena, but it seems the scales are slowly tipping toward the opinion that animals do have emotions, although some skeptics remain” (Toothman, 2013). Not taking into account the countless Sarah McLaughlin commercials paid for by the ASPCA where you see nothing but sad puppy faces and starving cats in cages, its a proven fact that humans create an emotional bond with their pets. Emotional bonds are not one way streets, they require two individual units to make a true unifying bond that is lasting and meaningful.

William James wrote, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” This statement was a powerful statement from this philosophical thinker. “James was an original thinker in the disciplines of physiology, psychology and philosophy.” (Goodman, 2012) In my opinion, I completely agree with what James wrote. The mind is the most powerful part of the human body- those who can master their own mind can master the world. It seems like a simple idea, changing or altering one’s attitude, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Monks spends decades in solitude trying to master their own mind- which is the key to altering one’s attitude. Although it is difficult though, I don’t think its impossible. James said that discovering that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes was the greatest discovery of his generation- I think it is one of the greatest discoveries of all time.

Resources:

“D.A.R.E. America.” D.A.R.E. America. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. http://www.dare.com/home/about_dare.asp

Hansen, David J. “Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE.” Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.

http://www.alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html

Dineen, Tana. When it comes to drug abuse prevention programs, “just say no” to feel-good, time-wasters like DARE. Web. 18 Apr. 2013 http://tanadineen.com/COLUMNIST/Columns/DARE-ReportMag.htm)

Hansen, David J. “Alcohol: Problems and Solutions.” Dare to Drop D.A.R.E & Replace It with an Effective Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/1077650838.html

Toothman, Jessika. “Animal Planet.” Animal Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013. http://animal.discovery.com/animal-facts/animals-have-emotions.htm

Goodman, Russell, “William James”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Web. 19 Apr 2013 http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2012/entries/james

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