The iconic D.A.R.E. anti-drug program is slowly disappearing from schools in South Florida. Fewer students in Palm Beach and Broward county schools are wearing the T-shirts and fewer parents’ cars have bumper stickers saying “D.A.R.E. to Keep Kids Off Drugs”.
Police agencies say they do not have enough money to keep teaching the 10-week course to students. Others say most schools are using valuable class time to ready students for the upcoming FCAT exams in March.
“I wish I could wave a magic wand and end the funding mess to bring the program back,” said Susan Mochen, who works for the Palm Beach County School District and serves as the education director for the D.A.R.E. Officers Association of Florida.
The program remains strong in Martin and Miami-Dade schools, but Mochen does not understand why schools in Palm Beach and Broward have given up on the program.
“It’s really concerning, because in certain communities there’s a really high use of drugs and alcohol.”