Drug Abuse Resistance Education
This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.
In 1995, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office started its first DARE Program in the county's schools. Deputy Sheriff Lynn Steckelberg started his first DARE class in the Hinton Community School and also that year, DARE classes were started in the Akron-Westfield and Remsen St. Mary's Schools. The sheriff's office took over DARE instruction from the Iowa State Patrol in the Remsen Union School, and shared the duty with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office in the Kingsley-Pierson School.
After Sgt. Steckelberg's retirement, in July of 2011 Deputy Aaron Leusink took over as the DARE instructor for Plymouth County.
To date, about 2,250 5th grade students have taken part in the DARE program in the Plymouth County schools.
The students have taken part in other activities with the DARE Program, such as trips to Adventureland Amusement Park, Kings Point Water Park, Explorer baseball games, dances, plus other activities at the schools.
The DARE program teaches students:
• The dangers of tobacco use
• The dangers of alcohol use
• The dangers of marijuana use
• The dangers of many other drugs
• How to deal with peer pressure
• Choosing the right friends
• Ways to say no to drugs and violence
• How the media can influence our decisions