More than 300 St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders recently graduated from the spring semester of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Graduation ceremonies were held recently for students at Chalmette Elementary, Lacoste Elementary, W. Smith Elementary and Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program, taught in St. Bernard Parish schools by program supervisor Capt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, is aimed at discouraging youngsters from using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, or taking part in violence or bullying of others.

During the graduation ceremonies, students heard from Sheriff Pohlmann and other officers who spoke about making the right choices when it comes to the use of drugs or alcohol. The Sheriff stressed the importance of listening to their parents and teachers, and choosing their friends wisely. He also told the students not to bully others, and to report any kind of bullying they witness to an adult or teacher.

Sheriff Pohlmann also addressed parents in attendance about the importance of protecting our future by investing in our children. He praised parents for taking part in keeping their children on the right path and focused on doing the right thing, including talking often with them and looking for warning signs to help prevent drug use.