RES Students Accept the DARE Challenge
Sixth graders at Rector Elementary School celebrated the completion of the DARE program with a special graduation event at the RES multi-purpose building Thursday evening. The graduation served as the culmination of a 10-week program conducted by Clay County Sheriff's Department DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer Mike Beasley.
"I am very proud of these kids and how dedicated they have been to the DARE program," Beasley said. "This is my first DARE graduation, and this group made my job much easier than I expected. Everyone participated in discussions on drugs, peer pressure and even things like bullying, which isn't typically thought of as part of DARE, but which is another problem facing students today."
Beasley said he saw much potential in the sixth grade class, and hoped they continued down the positive path to a life free of the destructive, disruptive presence of illegal substances.
As part of the program, the students learned about the different types of drugs and what abusing drugs can do to a person's health, as well as the legal ramifications.
"I just want you all to know the sheriff's department, your church and the school are here to help you succeed and do well," guest speaker Sheriff Gerald McClung said in an address to the students. "We've got a good group here. We're proud of you and know you're going to do well."
Each student wrote an essay detailing what they learned from the program. The overall essay winner was Max Ford of Mrs. Christen Holmes' class. Max received his very own DAREN the Lion, the mascot for the program. Kaylee Pence of Mrs. Susie McCarroll's and Jaydin Bullinger of Mrs. Holmes' class were also named winners in the contest.
The ceremony concluded with each student receiving a certificate acknowledging their completion of the DARE program.
"I want you to remember this program and everything we went over," Beasley advised the students in his closing remarks. "It would break my heart to see any of you go down the wrong path and be in trouble with the law 10 years from now. Please don't do that to yourselves, or to me."
The students gave a loud affirmation of their desire to succeed, followed by offering thanks to Officer Beasley as a group. The celebration concluded with a pizza party and a pledge to remember the teachings of the DARE program.