Students promise to stay drug-free

By Jeannie Lopez

On May 20, students from Wilson Middle School graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

Throughout the school year the sixth grade students have been learning about drug abuse prevention, the consequence of abuse and the skills for resisting peer pressure to experiment with drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

'This is a really important graduation possibly, the most important graduation they’ll ever have in their life,' said Officer Armon Estrada of Exeter.

Officer Armon Estrada is a uniformed law enforcer who has been trained to teach a formal curriculum to students in a classroom setting by being a positive role model to all students. At the D.A.R.E graduation Officer Estrada spoke to family and friends in the audience about the different things that he has taught the students specifically, about "Saying no to drugs," and how that isn’t enough. He also taught about the core problems of drugs, the peer pressure and how families make an impact.

D.A.R.E. graduates received Certificates of Achievement from the Exeter Police Department, D.A.R.E bumper stickers for their parents and D.A.R.E. pins to show that they have graduated from the D.A.R.E program. In order for the students to receive their certificates they had to write a D.A.R.E report on what they learned and make a promise to never use drugs, tobacco or alcohol.

D.A.R.E graduates were Sharron Broeland, Ed Grimsley, Jenifer Hays, Heather Keran, Susan Maday, Donna Mekeel, Sabrina Moran and Mark Thompson from sixth grade classes.

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