Falklands : Falklands Students DARE to Say NO to Alcohol and Drugs
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 17.07.2004 (Article Archived on 31.07.2004)
Falklands students in Year 6 have shown, once again, that it pays to say NO to alcohol and drugs.
Photo (c) J. Brock (FINN) Year 6 Students show the audience 8 ways of saying NO to Alcohol, drugs and violence.
FALKLANDS STUDENTS DARE TO SAY NO TO ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
By J. Brock (FINN)
Students show the audience eight ways of saying NO.
Falklands students in Year 6 have shown, once again, that it pays to say NO to alcohol and drugs. On Wednesday, 14 July 2004, Mrs. Short’s Class and Mrs. Judd’s Class graduated from the DARE curriculum, which is run by Royal Falkland Islands Police Sergeant, Dave Roberts. “Every year, it never ceases to amaze me how much students soak up,” he said. DARE lessons comprise of learning that tobacco and alcohol are just as much drugs as the more publicised ones. “Most of the drug related problems are related to the misuse of alcohol,” he continued. Lessons also include the art of decision making, which in future years will help these children in their professions as Councillors, Heads of Department and business owners.
After his introduction, Sergeant Roberts presented Infant/Junior School Head, John Farrow, with a DARE Tee Shirt. In his remarks to students, parents and friends, Mr. Farrow said, “Can I just say that the DARE Programme itself is pretty well imbedded into what happens in the Infant/Junior School. It’s about drug abuse, excessive drinking, tobacco smoking, violence and all sorts of things like that. We are separate from the rest of the world but we can’t ignore it.
Dave mentioned we don’t have drugs but we need to be aware of these things because I would hate to live in this age as a youngster. The pressures I had are nothing compared to the pressures and aspects of life that are put on children these days. I think there’s an old adage that prevention is better than cure. And, I think DARE’s all about, not just providing facts, some appalling, and providing strategies and ways of dealing with things. It doesn’t matter how much information you have, if you haven’t got a strategy for dealing with that information, then you are really struggling.
DARE is not only a program of the UK. I looked on the internet today at the American DARE Program. They put it very well by saying it’s about taking charge of your life. Preparation for life is what education is all about. This is an important aspect of what we call P.S.A.T. or personal, social and health education. DARE has an important part in that curriculum. That’s why we welcome Dave when he comes into school and provides that input.
It’s about helping to make the right decision and, knowing when to say NO. It’s easy to go through life for a short period of time by saying YES. You will become a very popular person. But then, you suddenly fall out of favour because you can’t please everybody all of the time. It’s knowing the right strategies, or approach when something comes along and be able to say NO and having confidence in it.
Dave Roberts contributes immense input, commitment, enthusiasm, time and effort into it. I think that is one of the major reasons why it’s so successful at school. It’s all about encouraging pupils to care for themselves and for others. I think if everyone had this care, I think life would be a whole lot better for everyone.
It’s also really talking about strategies and cutting down on the mistakes. We make enough mistakes in our lives without having extra ones by making the wrong decisions. Stick to the right decision and you cut down on the things you get wrong. It leaves more time for you to deal with the things that you have got wrong.
DARE helps to create an informed and caring community. And, I think if we have people who have the strategies, who have the ability, who have the understanding to actually make the right decisions, then we are investing in the Islands’ future because these people, in a few years’ time, are going to be the real decision makers. We have alluded to the fact that they could be heads of Department. They could be Councillors or whatever. If we have people who know how to approach problems, know how to deal with them and make the right decisions, then that’s good for the future of the Islands.”
Mr. Farrow’s speech was followed by the role play entitled “Ways to say NO.” Personal commitments by Heidi Clifton, Joe Birmingham, Juan D’Avino, Mhari Eccles, Bernice Hewitt, Warren Miller and Gabriella Hoy Berntsen were then read out. H.E. the Governor Mr. Howard Pearce presented certificates to the Year 6 students: Fayan Alazia, Rebecca Arthur-Almond, April Faria, Petra Gilding, Bernice Hewitt, Gabriella Hoy Berntsen, Teryn Joshua, Tamara Minnell, Lesley Stewart, Joe Birmingham, Matthew Freer, Chevez Goodwin, Sean Minto and Jacob Riddell from Mrs. Short’s Class and Melissa Barnes, Heidi Clifton, Mhari Eccles, Chloe Ford, Amy Gilding, Kimberly Goss, Aline Moore, Hannah Pointing, Sean Connolly, Juan D’Avino, Axel Mery, Murray Middleton, Guy Morrison, Scott Short, Dlyan Stephenson and Jake Wilson from Mrs. Judd’s Class. All students sang the DARE Song and finally there was an address by H. E. the Governor Mr. Howard Pearce. The Governor said:
“Congratulations to everybody who received certificates this evening. I think one of your number, who gave her personal statement, summed it all up. ‘it’s been fun but serious fun.’ Those two are not contradictory because I can see that you all enjoyed this programme enormously. And, I know that Sergeant Dave Roberts puts a great deal of fun into it. But it is serious fun because although you enjoyed yourselves, or because you have enjoyed yourselves.
I hope that you will remember the very important lessons, which have come out of this programme. And, that you will remember the 8 ways to say NO. I hope to learn these myself. Saying NO is very difficult and I can imagine sometimes the sorts of situations, which you find yourselves in and the kind of pressures, which you sometimes have to resist.
I would emphasise to all of us in this room, whether it be children at the school or adults, we all come under those sorts of pressures from time to time and we all need to learn when and why and, most importantly, how to say NO.
I would like to say a special thank-you, especially to the Headmaster, John Farrow, for his personal commitment to this programme because I know it wouldn’t be taking place here in this school, were it not for the fact that the Headmaster is very strongly behind it. Also, thanks to all of those teachers who have been involved and encouraged you in Year 6 to take part in this programme. Mostly of all, thanks to Sergeant Dave Roberts. And, I know, by conversations which I have had with Sergeant Roberts, how very committed he is to this program, how enthusiastic he is about it and how important he considers it to be. He is quite right to do so. On behalf of everybody, I would like to say a very warm and very big thank-you for all the personal commitment and the enormous amount of work that you put into the program. And, I wish you all the best in your continued efforts to work in this programme and to work for its expansion. On behalf of everybody, I think we ought to give you a big round of applause.”
As well as Sergeant Dave Roberts, there are other acknowledgements. Appreciation goes to The Argos Fishing Company Ltd., DARE UK, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stanley Infant and Junior School, Falkland Printz, Shorty’s Diner, the Dolphins Guest House, the Royal Falkland Islands Police, the Falkland Islands Government, and the Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce.