Monday, October 18, 2010


Back in kindergarten (this would have been the early 80's--pre-DARE), my teacher's husband was a police officer in our small town. The teacher herself was a carefully coiffed and very uptight woman who terrified us all--not least because the angrier she got the wider her smile became. Woe on the 5 year old who sees her smile-bared teeth turn in his direction. She was nice in that fakey fake way that kids see through in a second, but that fools grownups who don't remember what it's like to be a kid.

I was almost a year older than most of the kids in my class due to the luck of my birth date, and I'd been reading since I was three. So Kindergarten was mostly about socializing me to the school environment. This was quite a change from the one-room house without running water I'd been raised in. My parents were hippies--quasi back-to-the-landers--and my early childhood was a luscious green dream of woods and leaves and fairies and pine needles and bugs and unicorns. No, really.

But, I had a hard time adjusting to school life, and my family didn't exactly fit in with the kindergarten teacher's ideals (although ironically she and my mom ended up being friends years later when my mom headed up the PTO. Another story.).

A favorite family tale of those years is when I went to school and informed my teacher (wife to a cop, remember) that my parents smoked "buzz-butts." The teacher was puzzled by this phrase, so she asked her husband, who I'm sure snickered at her and reminded her of my parents' counterculture leanings. But it was the early 80's, and to my knowledge nothing ever happened to them or to me. In fact, my parents ended up being very involved with the school governance and fundraising right up until I hit middle school.

Which is all a very long way of getting to this piece in The Agitator that points out the uselessness of the DARE program--and not just because turning your parents in for pot can now literally destroy your family, but because its methods just aren't good. I remember as a teenager looking eagerly at the DARE officer's drug "sample board," ticking off the few substances I'd tried or seen, and salivating at the new possibilities. Which, I think, was not the officer's intention in showing it to us.


D.A.R.E.: Ripping Families Apart Since 1983

When it comes to its stated mission—keeping school-age children from trying illicit drugs—the D.A.R.E. program has been a failure. But D.A.R.E. does have a fun history of teaching kids to turn their pot-smoking parents in to the police.

It happened again last week

1 comment:

eads said...

I used to have a t-shirt in high-skool that looked just like a DARE shirt. It said underneath the logo, "Drugs Are Really Expensive." That was one of my prized possessions.


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