Monday, July 6, 2015

Knox County DARE Essay Contest 2015

DARE Officers, Knox County Sergeants John Palmer, Lance Mitchell, and Deputy Nate Jack wrapped up this year’s DARE classes. Students in each school wrote essays about what they learned in the program and a winner was chosen from each school. An over-all County winner and over-all County runner-up was chosen as well. The over-all winner received a $100 gift card and all the other winners received $25 gift cards, Darren Mascots, and Essay Award Medals.

Here is the essay submitted by Emily Mahoney in Warren, who won the contest at her own school, as well as the County-wide runner-up award:
What D.A.R.E Means To Me!
D.A.R.E has been around for 32 years teaching kids all around the world to be safe and make good decisions. I've always wanted to do D.A.R.E and this year I finally got to. I already knew I was never gong to smoke, do drugs or use tobacco, but D.A.R.E has taught me that as I get older it will be so easy to get roped into doing drugs, under age drinking or chewing tobacco.
I learned about risks which means taking a chance, and consequences which means what happens as a result of something you choose to do or not to do. It can be positive or negative. I learned about resistance which is the refusal to accept others' influence. I learned about the importance of communication and different types of communication. For example: being unsure, being demanding and being confident. I learned a lot more but a really important thing I learned is the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model.
D.A.R.E is an acronym for two things. One is the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model. The D.A.R.E Decision Making Model is for kids or adults who are in a situation where kids or adults try to use peer pressure to try to get them to use tobacco, smoke, do drugs or underage drinking. It is:
Define means to think what your situation is.
Assess means to think about your options.
Respond means to make a decision.
Evaluate means to review your decision to see if you made a good decision.
D.A.R.E has inspired me to make good decisions so I can pass on the information to other people so we can live in peaceful environment. I like D.A.R.E because people may plan on doing drugs or smoking when they're older, but if they have had D.A.R.E, it might change their minds. You should also try to avoid smoking and tobacco use because more than 400,000 americans die each year from tobacco use. Also, almost 50,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. You're not only risking your life by smoking, but you're risking other people's lives by smoking too.
As I said in the beginning D.A.R.E has two acronyms. The first one is the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model. The next one is the one people are most familiar with. It is:
It means that you have to learn to resist drug abuse. Because drugs are so bad, if you abuse them, it can cause severe illness and very bad health effects. That is why it is very important to not abuse drugs.
Bullying is another major thing that D.A.R.E talks about. Being a bystander is a very serious matter. Bystander means that you are a witness to bullying or a robbery or a car crash and you had a chance to do something but you didn't. Being a bystander basically encourages the bully to keep bullying. Yes, if you stand up for someone you might then get bullied, but think about this: would you rather move on with your life with guilt entering your mind or move on with your life knowing that even though you got bullied, you stood up for someone and did the right thing?
D.A.R.E is supposed to teach people how important it is to never ever abuse drugs. It is not all about drugs, tobacco, smoking or underage drinking, it also teaches people the importance of communication, stress, how to stand up to big bad bullies and a lot more. Also, if you want to get out of the peer pressure situations you can't ever be afraid to say "no" or use the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model. 
Some people think that doing drugs, chewing tobacco, smoking or drinking before you're 21 is just a walk in the park, but it's not. It might seem easy at first but as life goes on just when you least expect it everything will change forever. D.A.R.E means everything to me because it taught me so much and I am never going to forget the things Officer Palmer taught me. I will also never forget Jake. I am never going to forget how important it is to stay far away from drugs.

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