Students at Centerville, Berwick, Glenco Charter, J.S. Aucoin, and Raintree elementary schools celebrated their D.A.R.E. graduations this past Fall and this Spring. The fifth graders successfully completed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in the course of a semester. The 10 week long D.A.R.E. program teaches students decision making skills that equip them to lead safe and healthy lives. Lessons include the dangers of drug abuse, how to resist and refuse peer pressure, and how to take a stand against bullying. The program is designed to boost students’ social skills and enhance self esteem which is a key factor in contending with these issues. As a graduation requirement, the 5th graders are asked to write an essay describing what they have learned from the D.A.R.E. program. The essays are often narratives of personal experiences of bullying or peer pressure and explain how the students will use or have used the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model (DDMM) to overcome those challenges. Guest speakers at each of the graduations encouraged students to continue to use the skills they learned in D.A.R.E.
Guest Speaker Sheriff Mark Hebert, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Deputy Walter Shepherd, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Judge Kim Stansbury, City Court of Morgan City
Guest Speaker Lt Alexander Barnes, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Jacki Ackel, Safe Schools Advocate & Berwick Councilmember
Guest Speaker District Judge Lewis Pitman
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office manages the program in 5 schools across the parish for approximately 500 students each school year. Funding for the DARE program is provided in part through grants and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Honorary Membership Program.
The 13th Annual VOICE for Victims Rally was held in Bouligny Plaza in New Iberia Monday.
The Voices of Innocent Citizens Empowered (VOICE) is a support and advocacy group for victims of violent crime. The evening event marked National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Sgt. Jose Alexander with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office sings "You Raise Me Up"
New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry reading the National Victims' Rights Week Proclamation
16th Judicial District Attorney Bo Duhe
Louisiana District Attorney Jeff Landry
Special guest speakers, Kevin and Dondie Breaux, parents of Mayci
Sheriff Mark Hebert
Sheriff Hebert also spoke at the rally, “We, as law enforcement officers, have the first opportunity to help victims cope with trauma and we know that what we do in those first moments can often define a victim’s recovery. We have a responsibility to help victims restore their sense of security and regain control over their lives. We are committed to carrying out that mission beyond the first call for service. We work closely with organizations like Chez Hope, the St. Mary Council on Aging, St. Mary Community Action Agency and St. Mary schools to help make sure crime victims receive the support and services they need. We also offer a multitude of resources to prevent others from becoming victims.”
For more information on the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Victims Services Program call 337-907-0408.