Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), stylized as D.A.R.E., is an international education program founded by Daryl F. Gates that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. DARE, which has expanded globally since its founding in 1983, is a demand-side drug control strategy of the American War on Drugs. Students who enter the program sign a pledge not to use drugs or join gangs and are taught by local police officers about the dangers of drug use in an interactive in-school curriculum which lasts ten weeks. DARE America has its headquarters in Inglewood, California.
Sgt. Randal Grantham is charged with teaching the DARE curriculum within the schools and has undergone special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. Sgt. Grantham makes weekly visits to each school in the county to speak and work with students. There are programs for different age levels. Working with the classroom teachers, Sgt. Grantham leads students over a number of sessions on workbooks and interactive discussions.
The DARE program enables students to interact with law enforcement in a controlled, safe, classroom environment. This helps students and officers meet and understand each other in a friendly manner, instead of having to meet when a student commits a crime, or when officers must intervene in domestic disputes and severe family problems. The Surgeon General reports that positive effects have been demonstrated regarding attitudes towards the police.
It is also an important tertiary crime and violence prevention education program. The D.A.R.E. program cites cases where assertiveness and self-defense education helped prevent students from being harmed. D.A.R.E. officers also help schools when children are threatened, and their presence helps alleviate concerns about situations like school shootings and other threats of violence to children while at school.