DARE Didn’t Make Kids “Say No” to Drugs. It Normalized Police in Schools.

Source: Reason
by Joe Lancaster

“In hindsight, DARE is primarily remembered as a joke, a bunch of cops acting out hokey anti-drug skits. By 1994, a decade after the program’s founding, studies clearly indicated that the DARE curriculum had little to no effect on rates of youth drug use. By the 2010s, it had become a popular source of irony and parody: When then’Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised the program’s effectiveness in 2017, DARE graduates noted on social media how they still smoke pot in their black-and-red shirts. But while DARE didn’t ‘work’ in the sense of keeping many kids from using drugs, Felker-Kantor argues the program was wildly successful at normalizing the presence of police, and the war on drugs, in people’s everyday lives.” (for publication 05/24)