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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

DARE NEW JERSEY FIGHTS BACK:
ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST LETTERS TO DARE AMERICA FOR INTERFERING WITH
NEW JERSEY DRUG EDUCATION

*COPIES OF LETTERS ATTACHED BELOW FOR YOUR REVIEW*

Date: February 2, 2015
Contact: DARE New Jersey - (609)860-6777

DARE New Jersey, the largest state DARE  franchise in the country,  has issued  to DARE America two cease and desist letters, one for “harassing” and “libelous” claims, the other for interfering with a business relationships.

DARE New Jersey is rapidly losing patience with the increased bullying and interference by the Los Angeles management of DARE America. DARE New Jersey Board President Robert McKenna said he was shocked and outraged by a letter sent from DARE America’s President & CEO Frank Pegueros to New Jersey Police Chiefs.  He stated:  “We have been in the midst of a dispute over issues with DARE America’s untested and unproven KiR elementary curriculum that has been rejected throughout the State of New Jersey as contrasted with DARE New Jersey’s previous attempts to save the DARE brand utilizing an accredited, tested and proven curricula.” The letter sent to DARE America New Jersey Police Chiefs by Mr. Pegueros blatantly mischaracterized facts. Other Board members remained incredulous that DARE America still refuses to include marijuana and other drugs in their curriculum and to appropriately test to demonstrate effectiveness prior to implementation.This sort of behavior serves to undermine further the credibility of the DARE national office, self-destructively trying to block their own largest State membership.

An arbitrator’s ruling last year has supported DARE New Jersey’s position. The Los Angeles arbitrator granted DARE New Jersey 100% of the relief it sought by striking down DARE America’s attempt to revoke DARE New Jersey’s charter on the basis of daring to support an effective curriculum that complied with New Jersey Law and Core Curriculum Content Standards. Further, the arbitrator was presented with overwhelming evidence that resulted in her “assuming” that it is against New Jersey law and educational regulations to implement KiR elementary in New Jersey. The remaining issues are now before a Federal Judge.

Regarding an elementary curriculum, we cannot use DARE America’s KiR elementary curriculum because it does not meet New Jersey’s Law and  Core Curriculum Content Standards and is being rejected by  the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, The New Jersey Education Association, The New Jersey School Boards Association and The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. DARE America has advised that it will not complete its testing of KiR for several more years and it is unclear whether DARE America will revise KiR so that it qualifies as an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug curriculum. Finally, because prior versions of KiR elementary were found to be ineffective, even if it is revised, there is no guaranty that the latest version will be found to be effective when its testing is completed.  As a result, we know that DARE America will not have a curriculum that can be used for fifth and sixth New Jersey students in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, until DARE America listens to reason, DARE New Jersey does not have an approved alternative option that we can support under the DARE banner.

We, as DARE New Jersey, have continued to maintain transparency, while focusing on serving the needs of all our officers in New Jersey. This is about the kids, serving police chiefs, officers, and school districts and most importantly keeping kids off drugs. We cannot drop the focus on drug education with the 160% increase in heroin overdoses since 2010 in the state nor the emerging threat of wider marijuana use. Through our “cease and desist” demands, we are warning DARE America management that their interference with our children’s futures will no longer be tolerated.

What is DARE NJ?

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DARE NJ supports officers, students and schools in the effort to resist drugs & violence!

  • DARE New Jersey's Mission Statement: DARE New Jersey in collaboration with law enforcement, schools, parents, community and government agencies, will provide premier leadership, guidance, and direction to officers, parents and educators in delivering a comprehensive drug and violence prevention curriculum along with healthy life choice programs to New Jersey's youth and communities.
     
  • DARE New Jersey's Vision Statement: DARE New Jersey will become the preeminent youth drug and violence prevention influence. Through its continuing educational programs and a strong collaboration with schools, parents, law enforcement, community and government agencies.

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