I headed up to Prospect last night. It’s their DARE graduation and I’m a yearly guest. This has been going on for nearly 20 years–I’ve forgotten when we began. It’s possible I am now seeing the second generation in some families.
As a courtesy they send a police officer to bring me up in a squad car. The first year we went with lights and sirens. Never again. Not only was it wrong, it was dangerous. It scared the living crap out of me.
I’d rather not debate the efficacy of DARE. It’s a controversial program. Some people question its effectiveness. I don’t participate in any classroom sessions or the curriculum in general.
I do get to speak to these 5th graders and here’s my point to them. For the first time in your lives you’re being told about decisions and situations you will face away from your parents. This is a first step toward adulthood. It won’t be the last.
I always get a good feeling being there. I always make a point to stay and meet people–sign autographs, take photos. Whatever they want.
In the end doing something like this is very rewarding and satisfying to me. That’s why I always come back. They think I’m doing it for them. Shhhh–don’t tell.