September 24, 2014

Sheriff’s Department aims to help kids resist drugs

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Sheriff’s Department is holding a series of programs in all of the county elementary schools to help third-graders stay away from drugs.

Dubbed “Resist All Drugs,” the program’s major focus is to teach children how to resist peer pressure, according to Deputy Rachel Vallad.

“We’re teaching positive ways to say no to drugs,” Vallad said. “We explain what a drug is, and stress the ways to say no and do what is right.”

Vallad said Sterling, Arenac Eastern, and AuGres-Sims Elementary Schools already had visits scheduled as part of RAD, with Standish Elementary in the process of setting up times.

RAD involves three appearances, she said. She said the first part of the overall program is a lecture where she goes over the definitions of drugs and their dangers. The second part is more involved, as students take part in a peer pressure role-play so they can learn how to say no and how to go for help.

“We go class-to-class,” Vallad said.

Vallad said this is the first year the department has offered RAD. She said it came about after a community member came to the Sheriff’s Department proposing it, since the county no longer offers the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, program.

Vallad said it would run from the end of April through the first couple weeks of May.

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