DARE Lives On Despite Budget Cuts


Students at one Pickerington middle school helped save a 20-year old anti-substance abuse program, CrimeTracker 10’s Jeff Hogan reported on Thursday.

The DARE program fail victim to budget cuts last May after the community turned down a school levy that flattened district funding, Pickerington DARE officer Dan Simcox said.

Pickerington Local School District spokesman Lee Cole said that the district would not let budget cuts get in the way of elucidating students.

“Pickerington is a very strong community, and as we all know, strong schools equal a strong community,” Cole said.

School officials worked together to keep the program alive, this time on a volunteer bases. Hogan reported.
“Only now, kids have to volunteer to participate and show up before school starts, that’s something more than 100 students have signed up to do,” said Simcox.

Pickerington’s Diley Middle School will launch its 10-day DARE program this year on Monday and at  Harmon Middle School at the end of the month, Hogan reported.

“The kids are really very, very receptive,” Simcox said. “I used to tell them, ‘If you get approached.’ Now I tell them, ‘When you get approached.’”

Simcox said that he has seen strong results from the Pickerington DARE program at school and at home.

“You would not believe I’ve probably had over 40-some parents that have quit smoking just from their own kids,” Simcox said.

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