LOS ANGELES (CN) - D.A.R.E. of New Jersey sued D.A.R.E. America, claiming the national group put thousands of New Jersey schoolchildren at risk by revoking the state affiliate's charter, because it used its own drug abuse prevention program in elementary schools.
D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) New Jersey asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against D.A.R.E. America, so it can keep its doors open and "ensure the continued delivery of drug abuse prevention education to the school children" in New Jersey.
D.A.R.E. America this month sent its New Jersey affiliate a cease-and-desist letter for teaching a different program than D.A.R.E. America's "Keepin' it Real" program.
D.A.R.E. America is a California-based nonprofit.
D.A.R.E. New Jersey claims uses the program called "Too Good For Drugs," because there is no evidence that D.A.R.E. America's program works.
To receive funding for its school programs under the state's Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Program, the nonprofit needs to show that its teaching programs are effective in preventing substance abuse, D.A.R.E. New Jersey says.
"D.A.R.E. America claims that D.A.R.E. New Jersey implemented the 'Too Good For Drugs' program surreptitiously, even though D.A.R.E. New Jersey has attempted to correspond with D.A.R.E. America about the program since 2011 and, in 2012, discussed the option in person with [nonparties] D.A.R.E. America's President and CEO Charlie Parsons and D.A.R.E. America's Executive Director, Frank Pegerous," according to the 23-page complaint.
D.A.R.E. New Jersey claims that D.A.R.E. America revoked its charter without trying attempting to resolve the matter through its own charter, a decision the plaintiff calls "unwarranted in the light of discussion between the parties."
"It also flies in the face of the unparalleled success of D.A.R.E. New Jersey and its commitment to drug abuse prevention education for hundreds of thousands of New Jersey school children and thousands of school administrators, teachers, and police officers who are united in the fight against drug abuse. It also is inconsistent with the management across the country because, virtually none of the programs affiliated with D.A.R.E. America exclusively offer D.A.R.E. Programs," according to the complaint.
Founded in 1990, New Jersey D.A.R.E. says it has 1,800 certified officers, and hundreds of personnel in New Jersey schools.
It is represented by Edward Cramp with Duane Morris of San Diego.
D.A.R.E. America did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.