6th-grade students graduate from D.A.R.E. program

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Students from Lauren Lee's music class in Purdy perform for D.A.R.E. Graduation. Those pictured include, front row, from left: Ezequiel Gaucin, Dylan Bowman, Brandy Trevino, Heather Greenway. Back row: Josh Novack, Kylie Wood, Kassidy Mosell and Dalton Stephens. Kayla Monahan/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

On Friday, 125 sixth grade students from Purdy, Southwest and Wheaton schools participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education graduation ceremony in the Wheaton gymnasium.

Several parents and community members attended the event to show support for the graduates.

Students from each school wrote essays about what they learned in the program, and the classes voted on the best ones.

Joy Grace, Alberto Haros and Dominic Ray read from Purdy. Shelby Blevins, McKenzie Smith and Egan Lawyer read from Southwest. Tyler Hagerman and Taylynn Banks read from Wheaton.

After sharing the students shared their experiences, Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox talked to the students about making good choices.

Cox told the students about his position as a prosecutor, and how many people he works with began to get in trouble at a young age.

"You have peer pressure and choices coming," Cox said. "You have a choice to try alcohol, pills, marijuana or something else. Deputy Larry [Stockton] has given you the tools to make the right choices."

Cox then made a demonstration by tossing Starbursts in the audience of students. He told the students who received candy to give it to their friends, and then to pass it again. Cox asked what if it had been pills. The students said they would not have passed it.

"You're in charge of choices for you, and you're responsible for not dragging your friends into drugs," Cox said.

Purdy Music Class performed a D.A.R.E. dance skit about refusing drugs, bullying and peer pressure.

Each student also had the opportunity to present a flower to someone important in their life.

Stockton also gave a presentation encouraging the students to continue making positive decisions, and he asked parents to be role models at home also.

Finally, the students were awarded a certificate for completing their D.A.R.E. education.

Following the program, students were treated to a pizza lunch.

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