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Students learn to make good choices
Students graduate from DARE program

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

If someone offered him drugs or alcohol, Maverick Martineau knows what he'd do.

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RCMP Const. Trish Clough presents Austin Tsetso with his DARE graduation certificate during a ceremony at Bompas Elementary School in Fort Simpson on June 18. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

"I'd resist," Martineau said.

Methods of resistance that Martineau, 12, would employ include telling the person some of the other activities he'd rather be doing such as quading, or providing them with a fact about why drugs and alcohol are bad. Cigarettes, for example, can kill brain cells, give you black lungs and problems breathing, Martineau said.

His resistance tactics are based on information acquired during the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education program (DARE). Beginning in January, RCMP Const. Trish Clough led Martineau and his Grade 6 classmates at Bompas Elementary School through the nine-lesson program.

The students celebrated their DARE graduation on June 18.

Clough, who's taught DARE for three years, said the program is important because it gets youths at the right age just before they enter junior high.

"It gives them the facts firsthand," said Clough.

Through the program students learn how to respond to situations involving drugs and alcohol. At the core of the program is the DARE decision-making model.

The word dare is broken down to define the problem, assess the choices, respond to the situation and finally evaluate the choice.

During each class, students would use the model to respond to hypothetical situations that were proposed in the DARE workbook.

"They realize that they are in charge of themselves," said Clough and have to make their own decisions.

Two of the most popular lessons for the Grade 6 class were how to be in charge and friendship foundations.

Delainea Anderson, 11, said learning how to be a good friend was important.

Being a good friend includes being trustworthy, not talking behind people's backs and being honest, she said.

Anderson said she also learned how to say no to drugs using the DARE decision-making model. Using the model is a good way to make decisions, she said.

If someone offered her drugs Anderson said she would say no. If they insisted Anderson said she would keep repeating no, like a skipping CD.

"I promise never to use drugs and I'll never be a bad friend," Anderson said during her speech at the graduation.

In addition to talking about what they learned at the graduation, the students also put it into play by acting out skits showing how to resist alcohol, beer and marijuana.

Other topics covered by DARE include peer-pressure, pressure from advertisements and self-pressure.

Clough said the students enjoy the program because it is fun and interactive and they get to make their own decisions.

Enbridge Pipelines (NW) Inc. donated $1,000 for the program.

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