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  • Hayesville’s fifth graders celebrate completion of the DARE program designed to prevent young people from abusing drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

HMS fifth graders celebrate DARE program

Hayesville Middle School fifth grade students participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. 

DARE is a program that seeks to prevent drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse by educating 5th graders about the dangers of abuse. The DARE officer is Melissa Mariano.

The following are essays from a few of the students:

I shall not do drugs

I shall not smoke

I shall not bully

I shall live with this happily

They have learned to resist drugs

For they have destructive powers

As if they were a dark mage

Searching for an innocent victim

They hurt you in pain you don’t know about

I have also learned to resist smoking

It, like drugs are destructive

Like a snake it waits to strike

Its venom is a slow killer

For as it kills you, you suffer deadly pain

As it burns you from the inside

It has curable venom

Medicine which then can be life saving

Bullying is not describable as deadly

But they that bullys is like a dragon

Terrorizing the sheep harshly

If it goes too long it can be deadly

These are the beasts

That harm the world D.A.R.E are the night

Whom fight against these beast?

So join them and fight the beasts. 

— Rylee McClure 

Dear Josephine, 

DARE has been a very amazing experience for me and I’m sure many others feel this way as well. I have learned many great and useful things I know I will use later on in life and I know will help you too. One of the useful things is how to deal with difficult or uncomfortable situations and how to avoid them. I have also learned the effects of smoking and drinking, along with different types of drugs and how they can affect your health.

One of the ways to deal with the difficult situations I know me and you will both be in is to walk away. You may not always be able to walk away, if you are at school or any other place you must attend, but walking away and taking a breath is a great way to calm yourself. 

\nother way to deal with a difficult situation, such as saying no to something bad or being embarrassed, is to change the subject. For example, if someone asked you if you wanted a cigarette, you could say something along the lines of, “Scorpio’s Malloy was a Slytherin, along with Albus Severus Potter,” This will confuse them and may even lead to a good conversation. A great way to avoid these situations is to choose your friends wisely. 

Mrs. Melissa also talked about the effects of smoking and drinking. Cigarettes contain more than 200 harmful chemicals, and kills more than 450,000 American citizens per year, 50,000 of them dying from just breathing in the smoke or being around someone who smokes. Children and babies die every day from secondhand smoke. Smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, and can even cause brain cancer. Alcohol can damage every organ in your body and it claims the lives of 75,000 American citizens per year. Alcohol weakens your heart muscles and reduces the amount of blood flow to the heart. Too much alcohol can lead to coma and even death. Never take alcohol and drugs together. Usually, drugs make your body high and alcohol makes it low. What would your body feel like? Some drugs make your body low along with alcohol and taken together would make you stop breathing entirely. 

In my DARE class we learned about different types of drugs as well. There are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and painkillers. A lot of drugs are used in medicine and take away your pain or heal you, but taken the wrong way could kill you. An example of a depressant drug is alcohol and an example of a depressant medicine is benzodiazepines. An example of a stimulant medicine is steroids and an example of a painkiller medicine is Tylenol. I don’t know of many hallucinogens used in medicine, but I do know that some mushrooms are hallucinogens. Even if something is a medicine it can be overdosed. Don’t abuse the fact that most medicines contain drugs. Be careful what you take and how much of it you take as well. 

Always remember, you have a choice in what you do, and you can avoid difficult situations most of the time. Even though life is hard sometimes, you must focus on what is right. Stay safe and always be responsible.

— Lily Anderson 

Dear school,

I have learned three things in DARE. The three things I have learned in DARE are peer pressure, health effect and bullying. When I tell you about the three things I learned I hope you do not do them. Do the right thing.

The first thing I said I learned was peer pressure. Peer pressure is when someone your age is trying to tell you to do something you do not want to do. A good example is when you’re getting ready to go to a birthday party and someone is bringing a cooler of beer, just walk away. If that ever happens go to an adult and tell them.

Health effect is when you affect your body in any way possible. Doing drugs and smoking can affect your body. If you take drugs stop, you could possibly die and crash your car. They could also kill you or a bad injury. If you smoke your lungs will weaken and you can die of lung cancer.

The last thing I learned was bullying. Bullying is way worse than it seems. If you bully you can hurt the people’s heart and since you have done that to them they might hurt themselves. If you are hearing this do not bully.

I love DARE because you’re taught not to do drugs or smoke and to get used to being a good person.

— Noah Carter 

You will learn a lot in DARE class. It’s going to be really fun for y’all. Here are a few things that I have learned this year in DARE class. You will learn about all the dangerous chemicals in alcohol and how they affect your body, what you should and shouldn’t do in stressful situations and how to resist drugs and stay away from harmful substances.

There are a lot of dangerous chemicals in alcohol. All the chemicals work together to slow the body down, making it what’s known as a depressant. Many times people mix alcohol with prescription drugs that are stimulants. Mixing these substances can throw the brain and body out of sync and cause really bad problems. This happens sometimes if we don’t know how to handle stressful situations, something else we learned about.

Dealing with stressful situations can be hard sometimes. DARE class was really helpful in teaching us the steps to deal with these situations. These were define the problem, assess the problem, respond to the problem, and evaluate the problem. An example of a stressful situation could be when friends are smoking or underage drinking and you are worried about them and don’t know what to do. Using the steps they taught us in DARE can help you decide the best way to handle the situation.

Drugs can really affect your life because they contain a lot of dangerous chemicals. Not all drugs are bad. Some are made to help your health but when people abuse them they can be really dangerous. People sometimes take too much and overdose on them. Drug use often affects people’s decisions. For example someone addicted to drugs may break into a house to steal something in order to buy drugs.

Overall, DARE class was a very fun and valuable class. I learned a lot of valuable information that could really help a lot of people later in life. Not only later in life it could also help them right now. I hope y’all have fun in DARE class next year. I know you will.

— Landon Trout

Dear 

Ms. Mariano,

Thank you for teaching us signs of stress,

And teaching us to do our best

To not give into peer pressure

And decision making helps build our structure.

Now let’s talk about signs of stress

The way to learn it is not a mess.

You get sweaty, hot and cold

You sometimes feel like you start to mold.

And now peer pressure, it kind of stink

Your friends change the way you think.

I won’t give in without a fight

So I’ll do what I know is right.

Decision making can be hard

But if you do right you’ll reach the stars.

Good decisions will help you grow

There’s some more knowledge you should know,

That’s some things I’ve learned in DARE

And that’s some knowledge I have shared.

So to all schools and everyone

Try out DARE and have some fun. 

— Sincerely, Gavin Weaver

Dear Joey,

DARE is a program that teaches about drugs and why they are bad. DARE taught me how dangerous drugs are, and the effects they have on people that do them. DARE taught me basically what drugs are and just how horrible they are. DARE taught me to resist drugs. It’s been fun learning about dare, so far it’s been good.

Three things I learned from dare are what drugs are, why they are bad and what drugs do to people. Drugs are basically something people use, there are bad drugs and good drugs, like prescription drugs for if you break a bone. Bad drugs are what people use to make them feel good or they can make people do bad things.

The first thing I learned in DARE was what DARE was. DARE is a program that tells facts about drugs and why drugs can be really bad. DARE teaches about drugs, why not to do them and more. DARE helped me learn what drugs are and why people use them.

The second thing I learned in DARE was what certain drugs look like, the ingredients that are in some of the drugs and how people use them. We learned what the ingredients were in cigarettes and tobacco and other drugs. We also learned about alcohol and what happens when you mix alcohol with prescription drugs.

The third thing I learned in DARE is what happens when people do drugs. When people do drugs they can do bad things like hurt someone or themselves. People can hurt someone really bad when they do drugs.

Thanks to Ms. Mariano I know what drugs are, what they do to people and why to resist them. Thank you for teaching me what drugs are. Now I know how to resist them.

DARE has been well, 

— Jesse 

Brechbill

Dear Mr. Frank, 

The reason I’m writing this to you, is because you are the person I wanted to share this with. I have been taking a class about how to stay away from drugs and alcohol. It is called DARE and it stands for drugs, alcohol, resistance and education. I am going to be telling you the things I have learned I hope you like it.

I learned how to stay away from drugs. I have learned how the nicotine gets you addicted to it. For example, tobacco has small pieces of glass in it that cuts your jaws and nicotine will go in the cuts and will make you get addicted. That is how you can get addicted.

This will be the second thing I’ve learned. I learned how vapes can hurt the person’s chest and make them feel bad. Then people can’t tell that person has vape and how people can just walk into store without anybody knowing. Vapes also have and lot of nicotine. They even have CBD oil which is very bad too. It is just like pot and marijuana except it is in an oil for vape.

The third thing I’ve learned about is our DARE song it is a good song but it is kind of cheesy too. It is like all the things I told you so far but it is in a song. Overall it is a good song. I still really like it.

I’ve had so much fun writing this letter to you. I hope you really like it. This has been a really fun experience. I hope you like it.

— From your pal, Caden Dalrymple 

Dear Ms. Melissa, 

I love DARE, I think it is fun. In my essay I will be talking about ways to solve your stress, and not to do drugs. I will also be talking about what drugs can do to your health and body. I think we learned a lot of good stuff in DARE.

The first thing I’m picking that we learned about was decision making. The first thing we talk about is describing the problem, challenge, or opportunity. When you look at the passage you can understand the question it’s asking you better, it’s mainly on choice.

It’s bad to do drugs. Some people do them anyway. Most drugs will affect your body or lungs and when you smoke it will make your lungs black. I also have some stress relief ideas. One is to count to five slow. Two is to name all fifty states. And three is to breathe.

In DARE we also learned what horrible stuff in drugs can do to your body. Tobacco has nicotine in it. Nicotine will make you addicted to tobacco. There’s also nicotine in other things too. It’s important to stay healthy when you’re an adult.

In DARE you learn so much. I learned a lot of awesome stuff. DARE helps people do the right things. So when you’re an adult and can make your own decision, stay healthy, be well and stay safe.

— Anjelina 

Simonds

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997