The fifth graders at Remington Traditional graduated from the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program on Tuesday during a ceremony in the school’s library.
The program, which is taught by Maryland Heights police officer Bob Heitert, gives students the skills they need to recognize and resist the pressures that may cause them to experiment with drugs or become involved in violent activities.
Several district activities have been canceled this year due to the pandemic, but Heitert was determined to hold this event because it’s a culmination of a lot of things for the students.
“This kind of stuff is the greatest part about the job,” he said. “Last year's group didn't get to have a graduation, so I’m happy we get to celebrate with them this year because they’ve worked hard and they deserve it.”
As part of the DARE program, fifth graders are asked to complete assignments as well as to write an essay about what they have learned. Juliana Huling was chosen as the essay contest winner from Mr. Eric Johnson’s class.
“I wrote about staying away from drugs and wrote about the differences between prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs,” she said. “I also talked about bullying and the reasons we shouldn’t do that.”
Heitert is also the DARE officer at Parkwood and Rose Acres elementary schools and will be holding graduation ceremonies for them this week.
“I’ve got the best job in the department,” he said. “Seeing their energy and having fun with them today was awesome.”
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