D.A.R.E. expanding to 7th grade

by beth on June 29, 2018

Post image for D.A.R.E. expanding to 7th grade

Above: Every year, Neary School works with the SPD to teach 5th graders to resist using drugs and other dangerous behaviors. Now the Trottier is coordinating with the SPD to add more D.A.R.E. lessons to the 7th grade curriculum.

This fall, 7th grade Trottier students may have a sense of deja vu when they head to health class. An old friend from the Southborough Police Department will be visiting to talk about the dangers of drugs.

The school is working with Southborough Police to incorporate D.A.R.E. into the lesson plan.

For years, Neary School 5th graders have had special “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” lessons with Officer Kevin Landry. Now, he’s moving up to work with the 7th graders, teaching follow up lessons as part of the school’s health class curriculum.

Superintendent Christine Johnson previewed the initiative at the June School Committee meeting. Trottier Middle School Principal Kieth Lavoie said that he’d been speaking with the school education officer, Kevin Landry, about it for a couple of years. It’s now officially in the works.

According to Johnson, Chief Kenneth Paulhus approved adding another officer to the program to make the expansion happen. Officer Aaron Richardson will be trained this summer. Paulhus clarified for me that Officer Richardson will take over the 5th grade education and Landry will head to Trottier.

Lavoie told committee members that the program will add on to teaching that was already being done. Both officers have already met with Trottier’s Health teachers to begin coordinating the DARE plan. It will be launched in September. 

Not mentioned in the committee meeting – but likely linked to the new effort – was a deal forged between Town selectmen and CommCan.

The Medical Marijuana dispensary is scheduled to open in town this summer.* Many parents were upset about the proximity between the facility and the schools. As part of its agreement with the Town, CommCan agreed to pay $15K up front for education and policing.

Paulhus confirmed, that the Southborough Police Department hopes to tap into that budget for the expanded program. That’s still needs to be fleshed out this fall.

More information on the program was included with the school committee’s meeting materials. You can read that here.

It’s worth noting that the dispensary is on the hook for even more education and policing funds down the line. The agreement included payment of an additional $50,000 annually to fund prevention and intervention education through school substance abuse and mental health programs and/or be used for police expenses pertaining to the dispensary.

*The CommCan website still posts that Southborough will open in June 2018. But according to Chief Paulhus, the owners are now expecting to open sometime in July. A Detail Officer will be on site per the agreement when that occurs.

Updated (7/2/18 8:03 am): As two commenters pointed out, I had mistakenly shortened Officer Richardson’s last name. My apologies.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Louise Barron June 29, 2018 at 11:04 AM

Quite frankly, I don’t give a darn how much Commcan agreed to pay the town for education, policing, prevention and intervention. If they have to do this, then what they’re selling is pretty dangerous. Now we have to pay additional monies for police patrol. Sounds pretty scary to me. A business that has to have cops policing it, is rather telling isn’t it. Certainly, not selling baked goods, or is that next. With opioid addiction rampant, do you Superintendent Johnson, Officer Landry, Chief Paulus or Principal Lavoie think this will be a kumbaya moment, when all is well in the pot shop. I think not. The decision to approve this dope den here in Sobo was the dumbest thing yet to happen, when the system can’t put a dent on the opioid deaths. Is this the new society. Don’t the police and the courts have enough to do with DUI accidents, deaths as it is. Now add THC to the mix.

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2 North Sider July 2, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Regulated and controlled, it’s no different than a package store. We just have to get there with the understanding and most importantly, education. Kids see alcohol all the time and it’s pretty benign due to controls and messaging. These are no the sit down coffee shops of Amsterdam. The location in Southborough is less of a ‘big deal’ than a bar. People sitting at a bar, drinking, then driving is far worse than dropping into ComCann and leaving with your purchase.

Honestly, it would be great if more alcohol makers put out some cash for education on that substance. Kudos to ComCann for actually caring.

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3 Louise Barron July 10, 2018 at 9:32 PM

What the devil does regulated and controlled mean. How do you know. You read or hear the Governor and the the bologna he spews. They tell you this because it sounds good. So, because the Comcan people throw money at us, all will be good, just to shut us up, so SOBO will approve this store, selling it’s dope, drugs and delinquency. Just imagine the fine group of folks gathering here in sleepy little Sobo to get wasted. I’m so proud

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4 D. McGee July 11, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Somehow I have this image of you writing this with a martini in your hand, totally oblivious to the irony.

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5 Concerned Voter July 11, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Gee, D. McGoo, you miss and trivialize the point entirely (as well as being your usual myopic self ! There are federal law setbacks keeping this type of establishment away from schools for good reason.

Again, follow the money trail. Look who stands to make all the money from doping up society. Case in point: do some reading on the opioid empire — truly excellent article in the New Yorker:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain

In our town, there was a 500 signature petition done by one resident with school age children that was COMPLETELY IGNORED by the then BOS and ZBA. At one BOS meeting, there were citizens expressing deep concern about the influence and potential impact on school age children and high school age young adults.

In fact the ZBA, plowed right over that petition and public comments to do an “ANR” — approval not required. Well, here it is. See who stands to profit (whether they actually do or not).

Look at who was responsible for passing all of this locally. The future of our town, the children and young adults, sold down the river for some tax dollars, and against the will and desire of the taxpayers, long time residents, and parents. And then what happened, after pushing in the medical pot shop, it all went legal, i.e. recreational. The joke in the end was on everyone who pushed it through. Now the Cole Memorandum has been recinded and the Feds have jurisdiction over this and every other shop. The joke is on everyone who pushed this through.

6 D. McGee July 11, 2018 at 7:13 PM

Wow, must have been a lot of effort to copy and paste your comment from down below. You must really be pleased with it to post it twice in the same thread.

7 North Sider July 16, 2018 at 8:42 PM

Louise, you must chill. How do I know it’s regulated and controlled? Well, how do I know alcohol and food services are controlled? Gotta trust that the authorities will regulate. Sounds like you don’t want to visit these dispensaries so you’re probably in the clear on this “dope den” issue.

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8 North Sider July 2, 2018 at 9:05 AM

To add, “dope den”? Really? First of all, it is legal. Why wouldn’t you cal a bar a “booze barn” then? You can’t even indulge at these dispensaries, you buy and LEAVE.

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9 southsider July 2, 2018 at 1:07 PM

Not sure why you’d criticize the Police Chief and these others for taking some positive action. Would we be better off if they didn’t expand DARE?

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10 Alexandra Rooney July 1, 2018 at 2:16 PM

It’s Officer Aaron Richardson, not Richards. He’s one of the best, he will do an amazing job!

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11 North Sider July 2, 2018 at 9:08 AM

Agree, Officer Richardson is kind and caring and I think he’ll resonate well with the kids.

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12 Jacqueline Clements July 1, 2018 at 3:43 PM

It’s Officer Aaron Richardson, please correct that. It’s important to have the correct officers name when writing about them.
Thank you so much

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13 Concerned Voter July 2, 2018 at 3:45 PM

Follow the money trail. Look who stands to make all the money from doping up society.
Case in point: do some reading on the opioid empire — truly excellent article in the New Yorker:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain

There was a 500 signature petition done by one resident with school age children that was COMPLETELY IGNORED by the then BOS and ZBA. At one BOS meeting, there were citizens expressing deep concern about the influence and potential impact on school age children and high school age young adults.

In fact the ZBA, plowed right over that petition and public comments to do an “ANR” — approval not required. If I recall correctly, there was a state or federal law calling for 1,000 foot setback from schools (but not here in good old S.B.!, where federal law does not apply — or state law for that matter). Zoning is a powerful and necessary tool. This is an example of the ABUSE OF ZONING law, in my humble opinion.

Well, here it is. See who stands to profit (whether they actually do or not).

Look at who was responsible for passing all of this locally. The future of our town, the children and young adults, sold down the river for some tax dollars, and against the will and desire of the taxpayers, long time residents, and parents. And then what happened, after pushing in the medical pot shop, it all went legal, i.e. recreational. The joke in the end was on everyone who pushed it through.

The top commentary is correct: the very fact that this school drug program is stepping up the volume is itself self-evident of its perceived need by those implementing it. Thanks to all those who helped pass those bills at the state level and zoning at the local level and successfully contributing their part to making this a nation of potheads and addicts.

Sickening. Unconscionable. The Town of Newton is currently looking at the possibility of “going dry” — no pot shops. This town should consider same.

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14 beth July 2, 2018 at 5:53 PM

FYI, Southborough already has the status you are recommending for it to seek. Newton is seeking to block recreational marijuana. Southborough already has done that. Newton already has a medical marijuana facility. And, under state law, the Town can’t outright ban medical marijuana. In fact, we aren’t allowed to pass laws that has the essential effect of zoning any medical marijuana facilities out.

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15 Concerned Voter July 3, 2018 at 3:34 PM

Understood. Main points are same. This type of business does not belong on main thoroughfares or any where near schools.

Again, there was a 500 signature petition done by one resident with school age children that was COMPLETELY IGNORED by the then BOS and ZBA. At one BOS meeting, there were citizens expressing deep concern about the influence and potential impact on school age children and high school age young adults.

In fact the ZBA, plowed right over that petition and public comments to do an “ANR” — approval not required. If I recall correctly, there was a state or federal law calling for 1,000 foot setback from schools (but not here in good old S.B.!, where federal law does not apply — or state law for that matter). Zoning is a powerful and necessary tool. This is an example of the ABUSE OF ZONING law, in my humble opinion.

Now the Cole Memo has been rescinded. So the Feds now have the power (possibly to shut down?) over any dispensary selling within the applicable setbacks.

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16 North Sider July 3, 2018 at 12:19 PM

This is a very dramatic response. Alcohol can be very damaging yet we have multiple locations in town that sell it. Where’s the outrage there? There is none, because it’s regulated. Just like dispensaries are, and will be, regulated. No children are being ‘sold down the river’. Even if we went dry, alcohol and marijuana would not go away and the responsibility would still be there on parents/adults to educate. It’s here to stay, let’s handle it maturely and responsibly.

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17 Matthew Brownell July 3, 2018 at 7:25 AM

Officer Landry has always done a fantastic job with the DARE program. Good to see it’s still going strong in our schools, and the kids are absolutely riveted to the content.

I work in Manchester NH during the week. The frequency of opioid overdoses in NH staggering, and a very major financial and operational strain on police, fire, and EMT’s.

We also have the increasing problem of new and extremely dangerous manufactured drugs invading the Commonwealth. Fentanyl, to name one, should be treated like Kryponite . . . the smallest doses can be fatal, and I guarantee you, quality control is not on the agenda of its traffickers. I read a few days ago of an arrest in Ohio, where police seized Fentanyl in a quantity large enough to kill the entire population of Ohio.

Not sure what to think of the medical marijuana dispensary in Southborough. But I drive 45,000 + miles per year, and can state unequivocally that the LAST thing we need on on the road are more people under the influence.

Generally , I think it’s disgraceful that many towns and states are colluding with stoners and cannabis entrepreneurs – to chase profits and tax revenue.

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18 North Sider July 3, 2018 at 12:28 PM

I don’t understand some of your POV. Dispensaries are not bars. No one is going to a dispensary to get high. Sure, they could buy it and enjoy their purchase in their car and then drive. But the same goes for alcohol! On top of it, bartenders will make a patron leave if they are drunk and disorderly. Send them out on the road!

Bottom line is that it is here, it is here people! EDUCATE yourselves and educate your kids!

**the regulation of these dispensaries is HUGE, BTW. You have no idea what you’re getting out on the streets right now with marijuana, and you certainly have no clue with any harder drugs. Regulate and educate.

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19 Matthew Brownell July 3, 2018 at 9:20 PM

“No one is going to a [medical marijuana] dispensary to get high”. (?? !! ). .

Wow.

Was not expecting that statement.

Northsider, that is perhaps asking Southborough’s residents to take a previously unasked Sojourn into Suspension of Disbelief, and one helluva Trust Fall . . . don’t you think?

Have you shared your point-of-view with any members of Southborough’s Police Dpt.? Firefighters? EMT’s? Health & Medical personnel? ( you know , the ones who professionally deal with broken lives, broken bodies, and bad things that happen to great people?

I would like to think the end result of medical marijuana dispensaries is a comfortable enclave of deserving patients, using prescribed mj in the privacy of their homes, while they enjoy a pain-free life amidst high-def segments of Aerial America and The Blue Planet, in rooms filled with maintenance-free rubber plants.

You and I both know this cozy vignette is not where this road leads.

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20 North Sider July 9, 2018 at 10:31 AM

You cannot legally go into a dispensary of any kind and use what you purchased – this is not an Amsterdam coffee shop! So I stand by the statement I made.

My point is that it’s no worse than a bar where you CAN stick around and get yourself into a situation where it’s unsafe to drive. UNLIKE a dispensary.

Also, if you read, this is legal. They.are.here.to.stay. We must deal with what is presented to us rather than freaking out about it.

“You and I both know this cozy vignette is not where this road leads.” – Speak for yourself, not others.

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21 Concerned Voter July 3, 2018 at 3:41 PM

Law enforcement and first responders are busy enough. Furthermore, they have no way to measure how “high” a pot head is, providing challenges on that front.

Remember the stoner who drove down and killed a state trooper (with six children)? Without getting into the whole pot debate, increasing availability will increase addictions and tragedies.

All pot is still illegal on the Federal level. The Cole memo has been rescinded. So currently, the tide may well be going out in the other direction on marijuana.

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22 Safdar Medina July 5, 2018 at 7:49 PM

This needs to be looked at from a public health perspective. The bottom line is, if our kids perceive marijuana as “safe” or as a “medicine” they are more likely to use it. Data from 2017, (Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan) clearly shows that teen usage increases when they perceive it is safe. Teen use was at an all time low in the 1990s with drug education programs. Now, we see a rise, as teens hear the messages that marijuana is safe.

When we look at the way “medical marijuana” in our state, we know that it is diverted to our youth by those who have obtained “medical cards” from cash only “docs” who barely take a history or examine them. So, there is a real danger with having a medical marijuana dispensary so close to impressionable middle schoolers.

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23 North Sider July 10, 2018 at 8:21 AM

How is it worse than Sperry’s which is just as close?

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24 Louise Barron July 10, 2018 at 9:22 PM

North Sider.What planet are you on. Don’t minimize the affect pot can and does have on the brain. If you dislike alcohol, and it’s affects, than pot should also raise flags. Pot use will prove to be a very dangerous in terms of vehicular accidents, children getting their hands on this drug, young minds being affected in their learning ability negatively. What about the fact that we are spending $millions to stem opioid addiction and the deaths from overdosing. How do you think that starts very often. Don’t be this naive and state that pot is a benign drug until you attend a funeral of someone you care about after being killed in a car accident from a pot smoker. Do you actually think with every cell in your brain that this will be regulated for only those who medically need THC. Please if this weren’t so frightening, I might laugh at you.

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25 North Sider July 11, 2018 at 1:29 PM

Planet reality, baby! Where MA voters made marijuana legal, and everyone is flipping out rather than rationally dealing with the situation at hand. While some of your statements have decent points, the fact remains that it is legal in the state of MA. It is LEGAL in the state of MA. Unless you want to reverse the vote, not sure what your agenda is here.

Go ahead and laugh. Good use of your time rather than trying to handle what’s been put in front of us calmly and rationally.

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26 Louise Barron July 11, 2018 at 4:48 PM

If you’re soooo real, what is your REAL name. Just because poor laws are made does not mean we should just say OK. These are bad laws that will affect more innocent folks sadly. I can’t waste my time with you. I’m done

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27 Concerned Voter July 11, 2018 at 5:19 PM

Planet reality? Well, bite this “reality sandwich:” it’s still illegal on the Federal level. So the Federal authorities can and will prosecute where they see fit — including any currently licensed pot shops. The jokes on anyone who pushed this through. How’s them apples?

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28 North Sider July 16, 2018 at 8:39 PM

Correct, federal authorities can and will prosecute where they see fit. So be it!

We’ll see who the joke is on in due time, regardless of what ‘side’. Happy to wait that one out.

And Louise, start a revolution to get the vote overturned, I’d love to see the effort!

No one seems to want to understand that it’s here and we have to calmly deal with it rather than losing our minds. It IS reality that this is where we are, this is how the votes went, that is REALITY!

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