The D.A.R.E. Program is Effective
CON (2 arguments)
D.A.R.E. Program: We define the DARE program as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program founded in 1986, and modified in 2009. The mission of this program is to reduce drug use and crime in K-12 students.
There is little evidence on the new D.A.R.E. program, but the few studies conducted show that the current DARE program does not help prevent drug use in school children or later in life. A 2011 study in the journal of Contemporary School Psychology of all meta-studies of D.A.R.E found the program to be "ineffective in reducing illicit drug use among youths, especially in the long term." A 2011 survey of D.A.R.E. by the California Department of Education found that 40% of students told researchers they were "not at all" influenced by D.A.R.E., and nearly 70% reported neutral to negative feelings about those leading the program. 33% of middle school students and 90% of high school students reported "negative" or "indifferent" feelings towards D.A.R.E. Students reported that the D.A.R.E. message is repeated so often at school that the concept has lost its meaning and becomes tedious. Additionally, a national study funded by the US Department of Justice concluded that D.A.R.E. has "small effects on drug use," and is "significantly" less successful at preventing drug use than other programs. Many more agencies have done significant research on how DARE does not resolve drug use: The Government Accountability Office, the US Surgeon General. Psychologist Pim Cujipers indicates that since DARE only works for months instead of years in schools with high drug usage, there is not enough community engagement time to change student’s mindsets towards drugs.
The impact is that schools are eliminating this ineffective program. A 2012 study by researcher Andrew Seidman, found that 60% of school districts have eliminated DARE since the mid-2000s. Because so few schools continue to use the ineffective program, DARE’s revenue in 2011 dropped from $9.7million to $3.7 million.
Journal of Contemporary School Psychology, Ny Times and LA Times
The new DARE program, Keepin it REAL, implemented in 2009, had requirements that schools hired school resource officers. These police officers stationed in schools are incredibly detrimental to the overall environment that schools hope to create. When students see police officers in uniform in their classrooms, they feel as though they are in prison, making it more difficult for them to focus on their studies. Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union says that excessive police presence in schools “reinforce school environments that are not conducive to educational and social growth”. Instead, Lieberman contends that treating students like criminals creates a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, which increases the drug and crime rates in schools. Empirically, Professor of Criminology, Chongmin Na, found that schools with DARE police officers had a 29% higher rate of weapon and drug crimes than those that did not have police present. Not only that, but a study done by Amanda Petteruti of the Justice Policy Institute found that schools with DARE police officers had 400% more arrest than schools that didn’t. From an outside perspective, this may seem like a good thing, however Professor Kerin Wolf found that over 90% of these arrests are unjustified and students are arrested for relatively minor causes. Furthermore, Professor David Kirk found that after being introduced to the justice system students were 46% more likely to end up being arrested again. Anna Aizer of the Centre for Economic Policy Research quantifies that those incarcerated as youth are 39% less likely to graduate from high school.
So judge, not only after wasting billions of dollars for years on the first DARE program, this “newer” DARE program is even worse. The DARE police officers in the schools arrest four times the normal amount of kids for virtually any reason, and it makes it harder for kids to get out of the justice system once arrested. Then, because they are introduced to the justice system so early 39% of them don’t graduate high school. So judge, even with the new DARE program, these facts have shown that nothing has changed except for increasing drug and crime rates even higher than before. As I said before, we will depend on this next generation and if they all end up in jail, then how will they make positive contributions to society?