Fifth-graders commit to D.A.R.E.
By Rob Treynor
For more than two decades, the Madison County Sheriff’s department has been dispatched to London Elementary School to educate fifth-graders on the dangers of drugs and violence.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 24th class of London D.A.R.E. students graduated from the program.
Superintendent Thomas Ben was the first to speak to the crowd of students and parents gathered in London Elementary’s auditeria for the graduation ceremony.
Ben stressed the dangers of lesser-illicit drugs.
“Prescription pills and alcohol kill more teenagers than all other drugs combined,” he said. “I urge parents to talk to to your kids on a regular basis about the evils of drugs. Be active in your child’s life and love your children.”
Sheriff Jim Sabin spoke of the staying power of the D.A.R.E. program at London schools.
“Over the past 24 years, 45,000 students have completed this D.A.R.E. program,” Sabin said. “That’s more than the current population of Madison County.”
Sabin then spoke directly to the fifth-grade class before introducing D.A.R.E. officer Deputy Roberta Braithwaite. “I’m almost afraid to do this. But how good of a job did Deputy Braithwaite do with you guys this year?”
Sabin was answered with thunderous applause and joyous shouts of “good” from the students.
Braithwaite enjoyed her warm welcome, telling the audience, “I love coming to the school. I come here two times a week and it’s always a wonderful experience.”
Deputy Braithwaite introduced the seven ‘top guns.’ These seven were selected from reports written by fifth-graders on how to commit to staying drug-free.
The seven selected were Joshua Eckhoff, Ethan Hensel, Zadien Gattison, Domnic Findley, Abbey Muhleman, Tatum Greenwood, and Garrett Moore. All seven read their reports to the assembled audience.
Other awards and prizes were distributed before students began to line up back-stage for the commencement.
As each student’s name was called to receive their diploma, cheers and applause reminiscent of a Justin Bieber concert, ensued.
A good time was had by all.
Bring earplugs if you plan to attend the 25th commencement.