DARE Course teaches area students how to help prevent bullying

BELLVILLE, GA (WTOC) - Fifth-grade students at Pinewood Christian Academy have become the first at their school to take the DARE Course - a course that generations of students have learned valuable lessons from.

We've long associated DARE with drug and alcohol abuse prevention, but with school violence happening so often, instructors say bullying prevention remains part of the lesson. Students at Pinewood say they listened to the dangers of bullying just like the warnings about drugs.

"People will try to bring others own. If you see something, you need to go up to the person and try to be friends and help them," said Hailey Jarriel, DARE Graduate.

Gordon Lowe has taught DARE in the region for 20 years. He says this is the age when students may experience bullying by classmates who think it's okay.

"If you don't do something now, by the time they get to high school, it will be worse," Lowe said.

Lowe says bullying can lead to some of the school violence seen nationwide. Evans County's sheriff says lessons in prevention can save his deputies from responding to violence.

"If it doesn't help but one, it's still worth it. It's something we need to continue," said Sheriff Randall Tippins, Evans County.

Students say they want to keep bullying out of their school, just like drugs.

"If you're getting bullied or somebody else, you don't need to take it or watch somebody else take it," said DARE Graduate, Milli Anderson. "You need to stand up to the person bullying you and stand up to the person bullying everybody else."

Lowe hopes all these lessons stay with students for years to come.

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