GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Kids scream the number “21” near the start of the assembly. It’s the legal drinking age in Alabama and that number is one of the most important constants in this talk about underage drinking. Alabama’s ABC board offers this program to all schools statewide and districts sign up.
“We said yes because we want our students to be aware of what’s going on in the world,” said Gulf Shores Middle School Principal Kyle McCartney. Organizers say it’s important to have these conversations about underage drinking with students early at a young age.
“Well I think it feels young to most people but the problem is by the time an Alabama student gets to the 8th grade one out of three has already had alcohol so you’re talking about 12 and 13 years old and we want to get to them at that age before they are inundated with messages about alcohol,” said Dean Argo with the Alabama ABC Board.
They learn about the legal consequences of underage drinking from a member of ALEA and the personal toll hearing from a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Lauryn Simons was hit and injured by a drunk driver twice.
“I didn’t think it would happen to me, Fairhope’s not very big so why would it happen to me or someone else, but it’s happened to me twice,” said MADD volunteer Lauryn Simons.