Students of St Giles Primary School were lauded for their successful completion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) programme held on Tuesday at District ‘A’ Police Headquarters, Station Hill, St Michael.
The Class 4 students were given words of advice from Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police William Yearwood as he cautioned them to make wise decisions when choosing their friends.
“Be careful who you choose as friends while in your present school or any primary school and when you go to your secondary schools. Sometimes, if you are not careful, your friends can lead you astray,” he said.
Yearwood also told the students that they should deal with conflict by referring the matter to their parents or guardians and not take it into their own hands by taking weapons to the school compound.
“Do not take weapons into the schools. I say again, do not take weapons into the school. Knives, pairs of scissors, ice picks, screwdrivers and guns are weapons which can be used to injure others and certainly will bring you before the attention of the police,” he warned.
The Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police further advised the students that following their ten-week training in the DARE programme he does not expect them to be engaged in criminal activity.
“You can [tell] your parents and teachers who you know are involved [in drugs]. Because we know that there are some parents involved in this situation who are giving their children drugs to bring into the schools. I am expecting you to be guardians against it,” he urged.
The principal of St Giles Primary School Sandra Anderson said she had been longing for the school to be chosen as part of the programme. [The programme] would help encourage the students who attend the Ivy, St Michael institution to be positive.
“Students at St Giles Primary School really need this programme. Often you will hear, ‘Can anything good come out of the Ivy?’ and I say, ‘Yes, 86 beautiful students have come out of the Ivy but they need help.’ This programme taught them so many things and I pray that when you go off to secondary school, you will utilize everything that was taught to you,” Anderson said.
Acting Inspector of Police Roland Cobbler said he was happy with the achievements of the students. “It is indeed a happy occasion for me having been afforded the opportunity of working with these wonderful students for ten weeks to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist them in making safe and responsible choices. This can be considered significant since in today’s society children are increasingly faced with various influences which may pressure them to deal with undesirable behaviour,” Cobbler said.
Student Lamar Forde gave a report on the programme and said he learned about the dangers of smoking and alcohol and how to handle peer pressure.
The students were awarded certificates for their successful participation and the most outstanding students from each class were awarded trophies.