LEHI, Utah (News4Utah) – Dozens of students at Willowcreek Middle School Thursday pledged with painted hands to avoid drinking underage, placing handprints on a giant brain sculpture that now sits in front of the school.
The message: Alcohol damages developing brains.
Utah’s First Lady Jeanette Herbert, Lehi’s Mayor and other school and business leaders talked to students about the dangers of drinking before age 21.
“You have to make the choice now,” Herbert said of when teens are offered alcohol, “What are you going to do?” Her words were reminiscent of First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign, which encouraged children to refuse drugs in the 1980s.
Herbert, along with community leaders teaming up with ParentsEmpowered.org, urged parents to talk to their kids about underage drinking.
Students will also participate in an upcoming essay contest about why they feel underage drinking is dangerous.
Multiple studies show teen drinking can lead to future jail time, decreased decision-making skills, and can wire teen brains for addiction.