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By Josh Presley
Fifth grade students from Oak Hill Academy and West Point Central School will be graduating from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program at 9 a.m. today at the Clay County Civic Center.
Former Mississippi State Bulldog and Green Bay Packer tight end Donald Lee will speak at the program, along with D.A.R.E. officers from Memphis.
West Point Police Department D.A.R.E. Officer Zate McGee said that about 300 students will be graduating from the program with some 270 students from Central School alone.
McGee said graduating students will receive certificates for completing the 10-week program after which theyâ€™re required to write a one-page essay on what theyâ€™ve learned in the class and how they intend to use it in life.
â€śD.A.R.E. is important because it teaches children how to resist the temptation of drugs, alcohol and tobacco,â€ť McGee said. â€śAt this age their bodies are still developing so they donâ€™t need to introduce those poisons into their system.â€ť
Central School Physical Education Coach Edward Walker said the program has helped the students be aware of the dangers of drugs.
â€śThis program is a way of catching them at an early age,â€ť Walker said. â€śPeer pressure is a big thing with this age group.â€ť Walker said the program lets the kids interact in a positive way.
â€śDrugs are a dead-end route,â€ť he said. â€śThis program helps them in making good decisions now so they can have a good, long life.â€ť
Central School Principal Wynesther Cousins said the D.A.R.E program has been very beneficial to her students.
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