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By Crystal Vandegrift, Staff Writer
FARMVILLE – On February 24, from 6p.m. – 8p.m. a community meeting will be held at Prince Edward County Middle School to discuss ways to help youth resist pressures which may influence them to experiment with drugs, join a gang, or conduct themselves inappropriately on social media sites. “This is a collaboration between our public school system and our law enforcement agencies in an effort to bring awareness to issues surrounding the use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, mental health services, social media influence of behavior, and gang activity,” said Sonya M. Walker, D.A.R.E. Officer/Coordinator with the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office.
D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. It was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 as a joint initiative of then-LAPD chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles Unified School District as a drug control strategy of the American War on Drugs.
Students who enter the program sign a pledge not to use drugs or join gangs and are informed by local police officers about the government’s beliefs about the dangers of recreational drug use in an interactive in-school curriculum which lasts ten weeks.
Guest Speakers for this event will include Investigator Kemba Reid Jennings, Virginia Gang Investigator’s Association -“The Big Lie: Unmasking the Truth Behind Gangs” Investigator
Hamlet E. Hood, Jr., Department of Juvenile Justice-Social Media
Deputy James Graves, Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office-Bullying
Lieutenant Sonya M. Walker, Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office- Current Drug Trends and School Safety
Chris Riviere, CIT Coordinator, Crossroads Service Board- Introduction to CIT
There is no cost associated with this event, and light refreshments will be served.