Middle school students discourage peers from drinking

The screen flashed the picture of a dead teenage boy. His lips were black. Rigor mortis had set in - freezing the boy's body in the position which he was found - laying in the back seat of the car.

"Alcohol poisoning shut Jason down one bodily function at a time," the announcer said.

Jason's fate was one of several stories told Thursday morning during a presentation put on by 15 middle school volunteers in an effort to prevent underage drinking.

The group calls itself FATE, Fighting Alcohol Through Education, and is sponsored by the Carson City Recreation Division. Members spent the summer preparing multi-media presentations to discourage their peers from using alcohol or driving under the influence.

"It's been incredible," said Nate Walker, who came to Carson City from New York to direct the project. "Each student has an individual intelligence that brings a new insight into whatever project we're working on."

For example, B.J. Bradley, 11, came up with the idea for a commercial where a person was on trial because that person's heart and lungs were suing the rest of the body for damaging them through alcohol and tobacco use.

"It came to me in a dream," Bradley said of his idea.

The group plans to continue its work into the school year with FATE clubs at each of the middle schools.

"It's kids telling other kids instead of adults telling them," 12-year-old Thomas Cross said. "They'll feel like we're trying to help them more than pressure them."

One of the question asked during the presentation at the Carson City Community Center was: "Do the media promote underage drinking?"

To answer the question, the lyrics to the popular song, "Tubthumping" were displayed as the music played.

"He drinks a whiskey drink. He drinks a vodka drink. He drinks a lager drink. He drinks a cider drink," were the words.

The lyrics of "Binge", another drinking song, were displayed, "All I need is a bottle and I don't need no friends. When I'm sober life bores me so I get drunk again."

Tammy McMenomy came to watch her daughter, Jenny, perform.

"It was wonderful," she said. "It was very touching. They should have had Kleenex."


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