Siouxland students tackle underage drinking problem - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland students tackle underage drinking problem

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Tri-state area schools find themselves beating the national average, but it's not on test scores.  It's on underage drinking.

Underage drinking is ranked number one by students in the tri-state region, on the list of problems in school; higher than drugs and bullying.

The Mayor’s Youth Commission is challenging the public to come up with some innovative ways to tackle the topic.

Students, parents, and community leaders had a meeting of the minds tonight.

They talked about the risks and repercussions of underage drinking.

“The outcome of it, if you get caught. It affects college, it effects scholarships. You know, it effects anything you want to do in life,” said Seth Raders, a West High School junior and mayor of the youth commission.

Adults say it's also important for communities to provide alternatives to drinking.

"I think by providing them that sense of community, it gives the students an alternative where they know that if they go awry or if they make a mistake endangering their community, it puts more at stake they have more value for themselves and the people around them, and that's really the most important thing,” said Brandy McMillan, who recently moved to Dakota Dunes, SD from San Antonio, Texas.

Sixty-six percent of sophomores in the tri-state area say they've consumed alcohol, according a survey by Siouxland Cares, the group sponsoring the Mayor's Youth Commission.

That's 12% higher than the national average.

However, they also say most high schoolers who drink actually started in seventh or eighth grade.

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