Northside Elementary students graduate D.A.R.E. program

Wednesday was a big day for a young group of students in La Crosse.

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary got to take part in a D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony. A total of 51 students received their certificates after completing the training led by the La Crosse Police Department.

D.A.R.E. Officer Kurt Weaver says it’s an important time to talk to kids about drugs, because studies show middle school is when students face the greatest amount of peer pressure to try drugs or alcohol for the first time.

“Anytime we can get information out, especially to young people saying, ‘Hey, make good choices, avoid these destructive behaviors,’ that’s what we needed to do. We need to start young, because when they get to (be) adults, they’ve already made up their mind,” said Officer Weaver.

This is the 27th year the La Crosse Police Department has worked with the School District of La Crosse to bring D.A.R.E. classes to students.