Students from various social groups at Sutter Middle School gathered on January 15 for a forum dedicated to keeping their communities safe, reducing minors' access to alcohol, and curbing underage drinking.
The forum, held at Sutter Middle School in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, was led by the Friday Night Live team from Butte County in partnership with Club Live leaders from Sutter Middle School. The event was part of Butte County's "Committed" program, designed to help young people build leadership skills, expand their social network, and implement community change projects. A diverse group of 60 students discussed important topics such as bullying, harassment, and underage drinking.
During the forum, students were treated to a "sneak peek" of Wasted: The Truth About Underage Drinking in Sacramento. The new video, created by the Butte and Sacramento County Offices of Education using grant funding, focuses on the problem of underage drinking and suggests solutions with fast-paced, powerful messages and images. Students from Vista del Lago High School, Sutter Middle School, and other Sacramento County schools participated in the creation of the piece and are featured in the video.
During the forum, students reviewed local underage drinking data, discussed youth access to alcohol, and identified strategies to help reduce youth access. They also discussed bullying and harassment data and worked to develop school projects that could reinforce a positive school atmosphere and improve relationships on campus.
Students discussed the results of the Folsom Police Department's Special Investigation Unit (SIU) "Minor Decoy" operation that resulted in multiple arrests this December for alcohol sales to a minor. Folsom Police and the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) also recently conducted a "Recognition and Reminder" program, offering positive reinforcement to store clerks who properly asked for identification during alcohol purchases.
Organizations involved in the forum included SCOE, the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, and the Folsom Police Department.