D.A.R.E. is supposed to keep kids all over America off of drugs and alcohol. So why is this program that puts cops in fifth grade classrooms to talk to kids scaring the crap out of their parents?
Because these good little boys and girls leave the school building with the drumbeat of D.A.R.E. (also known as Drug Abuse Resistance Education) bouncing around in their brains, and they're turning up the heat on Mom and Dad.
Take the 11-year-old in Matthews, North Carolina, who ran home recently, dragged out Mom and Dad's pot, and took it to school to hand over to the cops. Guess who doesn't live at home anymore?
Social services yanked the kid and his sister from the home while police slapped Mom and Dad with misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. They haven't been jailed; they just got a summons to return to court on the charges, but their lives have been upended.
And D.A.R.E. officers are calling it a major victory in the war on drugs.
Hey, parents who can't give up the pot in the house when they have kids are just waiting to have something like this happen to them. It's hard to stand up and preach "marijuana's bad m'kay" when your kids know you keep a joint in your bedside table.
But in this case, it wasn't a pot farm in the backyard. It was a few marijuana cigarettes. And thanks to a program designed to get kids to snitch on their parents, an entire family is in disarray.
The cop in Matthews told WBTV, "Even if it's happening in their own home with their own parents, they understand that's a dangerous situation because of what we're teaching them. That's what they're told to do, to make us aware."
D.A.R.E.'s all or nothing attitude doesn't sit well with parents who want to be able to draw a line between responsible alcohol use (a glass of wine with dinner) and being a drugged up loser. Kids are being brainwashed into narcing on their own parents, and at 11 -- the typical age of a D.A.R.E. student -- they can't differentiate between the two extremes.
Kids need to feel able to report serious crimes inside the home to protect themselves, but is the war on drugs really going to be won with a kid reporting on a joint or two, then landing in a foster home for "doing the right thing"?
Image via Torben Bjorn Hansen/Flickr