By Ashley Moton
Holt Journal staff writer
Parents, city officials and a handful of Holt High School students discussed methods parents and schools could take to prevent minors from turning to alcohol.
Before the meeting, there were 11 booths tended by alcoholism abuse support groups. Marte D., a representative of the Hope for Family and Friends of Alcoholics, one of the support groups, said that they are the family side of Alcoholics Anonymous. A few Holt High School students attend their meetings, and the group decided to make further public outreach.
Holt High School’s Vice Principal, Ann Coe, explained that the death earlier this year of three of the high school’s students in a car accident has brought underage drinking to the attention of the Holt community. During his presentation, Rod Macdonald, a former director of the National Council on Alcoholism in the Lansing Regional Area (NCA/LRA), said 70 percent of high school students do not drink at all. He believes most of the 30 percent that do drink have been lured into it by peer pressure.
There was no coincidence that the town meeting was held on St. Patrick’s Day. Terrence King, pastor of Christian Celebration Center Church, said the date was intentional.
King is a member of the faith community, which wanted to make a statement and a positive impact on the students, preventing incidents such as the death of the high school students and the charges the surviving student faces.
Although many Holt High Schools students weren’t at the meeting, King believes that “even if you only save one life, it makes a difference.”
Gabrielle Odom, a senior at Holt high school said that the town hall meeting was more than necessary and overdue. Odom was one of the few students that were active in the discussion. “It’s informative and is raising awareness,” she added.
Photos by Ashley Moton, Holt Journal staff writer