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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 8, 1999




The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District, helps children across our Nation develop into the bright, talented, and healthy individuals they have the potential to become. The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to give children in kindergarten through 12th grade the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. Taught by community police officers who have the special training and experience necessary to address the difficult issues facing young people, the D.A.R.E. program reaches more than 26 million students each day in nearly 75 percent of our Nation's school districts, encouraging young Americans to resist peer pressure and to lead lives free from the shadows of drugs and violence.

D.A.R.E.'s mission is a crucial one. Drug abuse costs our Nation more than 14,000 lives and billions of dollars each year. A recent study by the Department of Justice confirms that drug use continues to be a factor in crimes such as burglary, auto theft, assault, and murder, and that one in six offenders commits a crime just to get money for drugs. Because of alarming statistics like these, we must focus our efforts not just on those already addicted to drugs, but on all our young people, so that we can reach them before they are exposed to these illegal substances. Working in partnership with parents, teachers, and communities, the D.A.R.E. program conveys to children at an impressionable age a strong message about the dangers of substance abuse and strives to give them the tools and motivation they need to avoid those dangers.

Expanding on grassroots efforts like D.A.R.E., my Administration's 1999 National Drug Control Strategy provides a comprehensive approach to move us closer to a drug-free America. An important part of this long-term plan is our emphasis on educating children. We know that when children understand the dangers of drugs, their rates of drug use decline. Our National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program focus on helping young Americans reject illegal drugs and violence. In addition, in recent years, we have protected and increased the funding of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program. Coupled with programs like D.A.R.E., these efforts offer us real hope for freeing America's communities from the tragedy of substance abuse and the crime and violence they spawn. By doing so, we will give our children the safe and healthy future they deserve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 8, 1999, as National D.A.R.E. Day. I call upon our youth, parents, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third.


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