D.A.R.E. - Drug Abuse Resistance Education

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The Spearfish D.A.R.E. program was started in 1988 when the State of South Dakota adopted D.A.R.E. on a statewide basis. Currently, the Spearfish Police Department and Spearfish School District are participating in the Core 5th Grade Curriculum, the Middle School/Junior High Curriculum, and the Parent Program.

Sgt. Steve Hofmann, SRO Candi Watts, and Officer Jason Gellette are assigned to the D.A.R.E. Unit.  The Spearfish D.A.R.E. Program enjoys excellent support from the school district, community, parents and the police department.  

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CORE 5th & 6th

The program content for D.A.R.E. is organized into seventeen 45-60 minute lessons taught by a law enforcement officer with suggested extended activities to be integrated into other instruction by the classroom teacher.


The emphasis is to provide or reinforce the information and skills to enable students to resist pressure and other influences in making their personal choices. In addition, the lessons focus on helping students manage their feelings of anger and resolve conflicts without causing harm to themselves or others, without resorting to violence or the use of alcohol and drugs.


The Parent Program is intended for families of children who are presently in the D.A.R.E. Program and other interested adults. The focus is on developing better skills to interact with children, learning about peer pressure, and identifying signs and reducing risks of potential substance abuse and violent behavior.

History of D.A.R.E.

D.A.R.E. - Drug Abuse Resistance and Education is a preventative program developed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California. The 17 week program was developed by educators, police officers, and doctors. It was developed to help equip children with skills, to resist peer pressure to experiment with harmful drugs. In 1995 it was revised to include skills for children to learn how to deal with violence and how not to solve problems using violence. 

The specially trained officers go to the schools when the children are in fifth grade. They teach the comprehensive program once a week for seventeen weeks. During their time at the schools they develop a positive rapport with the children not only in the classroom, but also during the time they spend with them at lunch and on the playground.

The D.A.R.E. Officers work closely with and receive much support from the teachers. The teachers are in the classroom during the lessons to provide supervision for the students. The program focuses on four areas;

  1. Provides accurate information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  2. Teaches the children decision making skills.
  3. Shows children how to resist peer pressure and violence.
  4. It provides positive alternatives to drug use and violence.
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