Town Hall meetings are being held across America to discuss the dangers of underage drinking. One was Thursday at the at the Talihina School Auditorium.
Meetings have also been held this week in Eufaula, Miami, Poteau, Tahlequah, Vinita and Tulsa. News on 6 anchor Craig Day went to a meeting in Tulsa this week and says it has been a year and a half since Cody Greenhaw died from an overdose during his junior year in high school. He had drugs and alcohol in his system.
Codyâ€™s mother Sareva Greenhaw: "We believe that after you have a beer, you just don't make good decisions about anything else you're going to do." Sareva is a panelist at a town hall meeting on underage drinking. The event at Tulsaâ€™s East Central High School is one of nearly two dozen held in communities across Oklahoma.
"Something has to suffer. You can't use or drink regularly and not suffer with something." Kasey Goldsmith is another panelist. The student says he no longer uses alcohol and wants others to stop. "They say they look down on me because I used to be a partier and now I quit and they call me a hypocrite, but they can call me that all they want, but I know what it does."
The meetings are part of a nationwide push to increase understanding and awareness of underage drinking and its consequences. The median age when most Americans begin drinking is before their 16th birthday.
Experts say it is critical that parents are informed and proactive when their children are at a young age. Sareva Greenhaw wants to leave that message with parents. And she wants students to know underage drinking can have dangerous, deadly and heartbreaking results. "I do not believe that alcohol and teenagers ever mix."
Other public forums are scheduled in other Green Country communities next month. One is set for April 10th at the Stillwater Public Library. Another event will be held at the Bartlesville Community Center on April 11th.
Altogether, more than 20 Oklahoma towns are participating in the alcohol awareness campaign.