Somewhere in the basement at my parent’s house, there is a collection of newspapers that marked off important historical events from our family’s worldview. Copies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the day that the US won the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game, anytime the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, Princess Diana’s death, 9/11, the commencement of war in Iraq, the death of Stan Musial—stuff like that. When I was in town this summer, I remember looking at the papers from a decade ago and thinking one thing—newspapers are total shells of their selves, even counting the not-too-distant past.
I was recently reading this article on the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. programs nationwide (for those of you not aware, D.A.R.E. stands for “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” and is a nationally run program that involves local police officers stopping by the classroom to educate middle-school kids about the dangers of substance abuse).
The objective of the program seems harmless enough—after all, who could possibly be against drug prevention?—I’m not exactly going out on a limb by saying that most parents would rather see their kids grow up to deal in blocks of Coke stock purchased through a broker on The Street rather than keys of coke purchased from a guy on the streets. Yet the studies show an uncomfortable truth that might be hard for D.A.R.E. advocates to acknowledge: