Town hall about underage drinking

Submitted by Point Blank

Orcas High School’s leadership group Point Blank is a chapter of a national organization called SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions. This group is dedicated to providing information that will inform, educate, support and empower students to make positive decisions in their future.

On Tuesday, April 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the back of the school library, Point Blank will host a Town Hall meeting. This event is part of a statewide campaign to engage adults and youth in taking action to reduce underage drinking. The campaign, “Let’s Draw the Line,” is sponsored by the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (RUaD).

In the fall, several Point Blank members attended the Yakima Prevention Summit.  They participated in a workshop for community change. This workshop taught them to assess a community issue that concerned them and validate those issues, then find a focal point, create an action plan and evaluate the results.

Point Blank’s focus for community change is to reduce underage drinking. Underage drinking is especially harmful to the still-developing teen brain and can lead to destructive decisions. Consequences may range from low self-esteem and poor grades to illegal actions, car accidents, and serious injuries or even death. Parents and involved community members are vital to keeping young people from developing unhealthy and dangerous habits. This town hall meeting is a key step in Point Blank’s action plan.

Point Blank members will lead the town hall meeting as a panel to advise parents, guardians and community members on how to “draw the line” between youth and alcohol. Students will share their own experiences with peer pressure and avoiding alcohol. The panel will provide parents with tools, tips, and resources that will strengthen communication between parents and children. Point Blank’s goal is to empower parents with the knowledge that they are the number one influence on their children’s decisions about alcohol.Studies continuously show that although their friends and the media also play a role, parents are the key and youth pay attention to what they say and do.

Point Blank will save time at the end of the presentation for questions and answers from our collaborating guests which will include at least one member from local law enforcement, EMT, school staff, DVSAS, mental health, medical field, Readiness to Learn, PTSA and others as questions warrant.  We ask that young people, other than our presenters, not attend so that everyone feels comfortable discussing these matters.

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