Grade 6 students at Jamieson take the D.A.R.E. pledge
If the D.A.R.E. program at Donald C. Jamieson Academy was an opportunity to reach Grade 6 students about drugs, last week’s grad provided a chance to speak to their parents.
Students Cameron Wakeley and Megan Stewart were invited to cut the D.A.R.E. grad cake with RCMP Cst. Mike Martel, who conducted the course at Jamieson. Paul Herridge Photo
Staff Sergeant Wayne Edgecombe delivered a blunt message, but one he said was coming from the heart.
In his first grad since assuming the role of commanding officer in the area, S/Sgt. Edgecombe, who noted he has spent the majority of his nearly three decade policing career on the Burin Peninsula, said he has seen young people catch on more and more.
Parents … not so much though.
In fact, he said parents have become more lenient, with some substances in particular, than in the past.
“There has to be a concentrated effort for the parents to start saying ‘no’, and it’s easier if all the parents say ‘no’ to these sort of things than just one or two.”
For the last number of weeks, Constable Mike Martel of the RCMP’s Customs and Excise Section in Burin has worked with students in Anita Piercey’s and Margaret Cleal’s Grade 6 classes at the Burin school.
The D.A.R.E. program, short for ‘Drug Abuse Resistance Education’, teaches youth about the various types of drugs out there as well as how to deal with peer pressure.
During the grad, students Abby Moulton and Dylan Riggs were selected to speak about their experiences in the program. Ms. Moulton acknowledged the sessions had been informative
“Before D.A.R.E., I did not know much about drugs, but now I learned they are very harmful and produce side effects.”
Along with assistance from their teachers, Cst. Martel also displayed a slide show of pictures from the sessions and presented the students with certificates recognizing their completion of the course, which was followed afterwards by refreshments.
Corporal Geoff Greene, who has also taught the D.A.R.E. program at Jamieson on several occasions since arriving on the peninsula in 2006, was in attendance for Wednesday’s grad as well.
He suggested the fact parents show up for the graduation is a sign they are concerned, and acknowledged the changing circumstances facing young people today.
“When I grew up, there was no such thing as the Internet. You couldn’t go on there and query a crystal meth recipe (and) get 10,000 hits. Today, you can.”