CMS conducts online alcohol awareness program for teens - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS conducts online alcohol awareness program for teens

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte - Mecklenburg School (CMS) District will conduct an online alcohol awareness class for students and parents this semester. 

It is a month long program that helps parents start the dialogue with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking. The program is for students between 9th and 12th grades.

"Kids are inundated through the media," CMS Health Teacher William Bode said. "Through peer pressure about drinking about following the crowd."

Last semester CMS did a pilot program. About 1,500 CMS students participated and parents say the program was valuable.

"They weren't sure how to have that conversation with their student," Bode said. "But this gives them a safe environment to talk about their expectations as parents with underage drinking."

The program consists of videos with different scenarios of kids being pressured to drink. There is homework. Parents and students discuss what their children would do and come up with solutions.

"This could save a kid from starting to drink," Bode said. "This is how powerful it is and so if we can start them before they can drink, then they maybe never get in a car drunk."

Talk It Out's website states about 10% of 12-year-olds admit they have tried alcohol, by age 14 that number jumps to 50%. The website also states that about half of the young people surveyed believe underage drinking is a serious problem but less than half of their parents talk to the kids about drinking.  Teachers say parents have influence when it comes to kids and underage drinking.

"The number one deterrent to underage drinking are understanding the parent expectations,"Bode said.

Bode tells WBTV he wants to open this program up to all schools in Charlotte. He says this online program will be available to parents who don't have the internet, paper copies will be handed out to those parents. The program will also be translated into Spanish.

For more information about how to talk to your children about underage drinking log on to www.talkitoutnc.org.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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