More students are prepared to make smart choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
Nearly 50 fifth graders from La Crosse's Northside Elemntary school graduated from the D.A.R.E. program Wednesday.
Police Chief Ron Tischer, Mayor Matt Harter, and Mayor-elect Tim Kabat joined in the celebration.
The program introduced a new curriculum this year. Instead of focusing on the dangers of using drugs and alcohol, students are taught the skills to avoid making bad decisions. "Reserach has shown that if you give the students the skills they need to resist the pressures, they're more likely to carry those skills forward as they age, whereas if you just tell them the consequences it's more of a short-term effect," said D.A.R.E. Officer Kurt Weaver.
The program also increased its emphasis on bullying.