Graduation students from D.A.R.E. know how to say no to drugs

CLARKSTON, WA - A big night for the fifth grade class at Parkway Elementary School.

Reporter Veronica Miracle takes you to the graduation ceremony that celebrates parents, police and community members working together.

At Parkway Elementary School, 50 fifth graders were honored for their participation in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

"It's kind of their culmination of ten weeks of hard work that they put into the D.A.R.E program," said D.A.R.E. Instructor Officer, John Morbeck. "And this is their way to celebrate that."

The program is a cooperative effort between the Clarkston Police Department and the school district. Officer John Morbeck runs the program.

"We cover a lot of topics," said Morbeck. "We talk about the D.A.R.E decision making model, they get a chance to work through situations, we talk about the different drugs that are out there."

"I learned not to do drugs, not bully and not be a bystander," said D.A.R.E. Graduate, Payton Dunham.

"I've actually had kids from junior high and high school that come back and talk to me later on and say I'm really glad you told me because I was able to use it and it really does work," said Morbeck.

The Mayor of Clarkston, the Clarkston Chief of Police and other community leaders attended Thursday night's graduation.

"The D.A.R.E program is probably the best problem I know of as a law enforcement that reaches students before self-destructive behaviors," said Police Chief Joel Hastings.

"Always, always know where your children," said Clarkston Superintendent, Darcy Weisner. "When your kids say they are going to a friend's house to 'hang out' pick up the phone, call that house and see if there's any supervision there. Know what's going on."

Daring to say no to fifth grader at a time.

Over the course of this school year, Officer Morbeck is taking more than 200 students through the local DARE program.