(Top) From left to right are: Brian Ardoin, LSUE Coordinator of Public Protection and Safety Program; Sacred Heart essay winners Laci Marie LeBas and John Michael Duplechin; Sergeant Charles Pat Hall; and Randy Deshotel, Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court. (Bottom) From left to right are Darwan Lazard, Evangeline Parish Superintendent of Schools; James Stephens essay winners Stephanie Vidrine and Jaeda Pitre; Sergeant Charles Pat Hall; and Linda LaFleur, Elementary Supervisor. (Photos courtesy of Connie Lamke/ Ville Platte Police Department)
Daring to achieve a drug free life
The Ville Platte Police Department hosted D.A.R.E graduation ceremonies recently for fifth grade students at Sacred Heart Elementary and James Stephens Montessori.
The event opened with D.A.R.E. Instructor Detective Sergeant Charles Pat Hall welcoming guest speaker for the graduation, Pastor Caleb Semien with Word Ministries in Eunice.
In a release from the VPPD, it states that “Semien spoke about choices and consequences that the children will face in their lives every day,” and “he emphasized that being true to yourself and not following others to be popular is important with the message, ‘A little bit of you is better than a whole lot of someone else.’”
Several public officials were in attendance at JSM’s graduation ceremony, including Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel, Evangeline Parish School Board Superintendent Darwan Lazard and Mrs. Linda Lafleur, Elementary Supervisor.
According to the press release, JSM students and their parents “also heard from Darwin Lewis, who spoke about choices that he made early in life that led him down the wrong path.”
Lewis also shared that “following others and mot making good choices caused him to have to spend time away from his family and friends.”
Other special guests at SHS’s ceremony included Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel, Pastor Caleb Semien and Brian Ardoin, who is LSUE Coordinator of Public Protection and Safety Program.
According to the VPPD release, “the D.A.R.E. program consists of ten lessons that are taught once a week by Sgt. Hall.”
At the end of the program, students are asked to write an essay, and then one essay winner is chosen from each class.
This year’s essay winners from JSM were Jaeda Pitre and Stephanie Vidrine, SHS’s winners were Laci Marie LeBas and John Michael Duplechin.
According to Ville Platte Chief of Police Neal Lartigue, “this year over 100 students graduated the D.A.R.E. program and I would like to acknowledge the principal, faculty and staff at each school for allowing Sgt. Hall to teach this program.”
The chief went on to commend Sergeant Hall for his hard work and dedication to the students.
Chief Lartigue said, “We are honored to be able to have this worthwhile program and to be able to work with the students and teach them the value of making good choices. Congratulations to the 2018 D.A.R.E. graduates. We are very proud of you.”