Pubdate: Sun, 08 Dec 2002
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Poughkeepsie Journal
Author: Robert Robinson
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


This letter is in response to Officer Robert J. Benson's recent letter
about my recent Face to Face column, "DARE proves ineffectual."

Officer Benson failed to mention that Officer Keith Lipsey of the
Cornwall Police Department, a DARE instructor for more than nine
years, also had a guest column opposite mine, with the same space I

Officer Lipsey and I have done a series of public debates about the
issue to open the lines of communication between the police and the
community. Although Officer Lipsey and I disagree on issues, we have a
great deal of respect for each other.

I agree with Officer Benson that no prevention program is 100 percent
effective, but I disagree that DARE works well. This is about the kids
and what they are taught. Is it always the whole truth? Can it do more
harm than good? The studies I cite are researched facts, not hopes or
intentions. Good intentions are no substitute for effective drug prevention.

I never claimed to have all the answers to this complex social
problem. I did say that teachers, parents and kids themselves should
be consulted and made part of any decisions that affect them and
ultimately society, regarding drug education.

As for the invitation to come talk to his DARE graduates, I would be
honored, but I am the adviser for New Paltz NORML/SSDP at the State
University of New York at New Paltz, and most of our members are DARE
graduates. They asked me to do the debate in the first place.

Robert Robinson, New Paltz
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