South Orangetown Central School District


Sixth grade students at South Orangetown Middle School have spent the last several weeks participating in the D.A.R.E. program led by officers from the Orangetown Police Department.

D.A.R.E. is a substance abuse prevention education program that aims to provide students with the skills to resist peer pressure. Local police officers will visit with students for a total of 10 lessons, which focus on a variety of topics including vaping and bullying. The program focuses on the Define, Assess, Respond and Evaluate (D.A.R.E.) decision-making model. “We are so fortunate to continue our collaboration with the Orangetown Police Department as they teach our sixth grade students how to handle certain situations using this positive decision-making model,” said SOMS Principal Chad Corey, Ed.D.

During one of their recent lessons, Office Luke Graney spoke with students about non-verbal communication, how you can read a situation and ways to develop a confident response if someone is trying to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do. Students were given fictional scenarios and they took turns sharing out how they would handle the situation with the class using the decision-making model. In another classroom, Detective Brandon Myers took questions from the class about his career and he spoke about how students can participate in the Orangetown Youth Court if they’re interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice.

Officers will wrap up lessons with our sixth grade students over the next couple of weeks before they officially graduate from the program on December 14.