ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools Campus Police Officer Bryan Rios is ready to bring the renowned Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., program back to the district after more than a decade.
D.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative to give students skills to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence. It has been active since 1983, and EPS joins thousands of other school districts in implementing it in the classroom.
Rios said he is excited to get into the classroom with a new role on how to make smart decisions both in school and off-campus.
“With everything going on in the world, kids need this. They need D.A.R.E.,” said Rios. “D.A.R.E. has evolved so much since we were students, focusing on saying no to drugs but also focusing on healthy living, how to manage stress, how to communicate and other essential life skills.”
The curriculum Rios is trained in and will be implementing in EPS fifth-grade classrooms is “Keepin’ It Real.” Spanning 10 weeks, with Rios visiting a classroom once a week, the classes will focus on making healthy life decisions.
EPS Chief of Police and Director of Safety and Security Jason Priest said he is thrilled to have an officer trained in this program to help students resist peer pressure and live productive lives.
He said he hopes other EPS officers will take the secondary training to serve all ages.
“The goal is for EPS campus police officers to build positive relationships with students, their parents/guardians and school staff for years to come so that we may better serve the students of EPS,” Priest said. “I’m very proud of Officer Rios and look forward to watching the D.A.R.E. program flourish for years to come in EPS.”
Rios was a police officer with Enid Police Department for a year before joining the EPS Campus Police Department in January 2020.
D.A.R.E. classes will begin in the 2020-21 school year.