A number of school children were recently awarded certificates for their involvement in the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programme, run by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
The double graduation ceremony, held at the Grand Marriot Resort Monday, acknowledged winners of the DARE essay competition ‘Taking a Stand.’
At the event, students were presented with certificates and DARE stuffed toy mascots by Daren the Lion and police instructors.
The graduation was the culmination of 10 weeks of anti-drugs and violence education carried out by DARE qualified police officers in the schools.
Special guest Governor Stuart Jack said when he was young these kinds of programmes didn’t exist. ‘We had to face those issues and challenges on our own.’
He said he understood how difficult it is having pressure from friends to make these choices. ‘You know in your heart it is bad for you, so just say no. I never smoked once in my life and I am glad I never did.’
He told the students it was up to them to make good choices and to say no to the dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence.
Mr. Jack also encouraged students to use the good information they were given and to get involved with productive programmes such as art, crafts and community projects.
DARE teaches children, aged 10-11, about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence and aims to provide participants with the skills needed to avoid and deal with situations involving any of these.
The programme is taught by police officers whose training and experience gives them the background needed to answer the often sophisticated questions posed by young students about drugs and crime.