This week I found in my child’s backpack a letter from a “Concerned Parent”. Apparently, it is circulating around Trinity. Someone went through a lot of trouble photocopying this for so many parents. Trinity has not even started the D.A.R.E program yet. Other schools are done or almost done. I will retype it here:
February 24, 2010
Dear Concerned Parents and Friends,
It has come to my attention that the D.A.R.E. program provided for our fifth grade students in New Rochelle will come to a close at the end of this school year. This is very concerning to me as a parent who has had children go through the D.A.R.E. program. This program provides our children with lessons they will be able to use through middle school and high school when decision making about substance abuse becomes equally as important as getting good grades. Det. Leak and Officer Straehle have worked incredibly hard to build a rapport with our school officials and children. The trust and respect our children earned with these officers will be lost if D.A.R.E. is discontinued.
The mayor, city officials and law enforecement officials have decided because of our bad economy and a hiring freeze, cutting the D.A.R.E program will free up two police officers which can be put back on the street. Our city leaders will tell you that the New Rochelle Police Dept. has started the G.R.E.A.T. program (Gang Resistance Education and Training) which is a spin off of D.A.R.E. G.R.E.A.T. is a worthwhile program provided to our middle school children which like D.A.R.E. reinforces good decisions making and gang resistance. Children receiving G.R.E.A.T. without first receiving D.A.R.E. is like attending college without first attending high school. If our city proceeds fith this decision I feel the New Rochelle Police Dept. will become a reactive police department instead of a proactive police department. If you are also concerned, please call or e-mail our city officials and voice your displeasure and tell them to find a way to continue with providing our children with the D.A.R.E program.