COSTA MESA — Parents with kids in tow packed Rea Elementary School's multipurpose room for a two-hour bilingual town hall meeting Thursday night on the dangers of underage drinking.
"Minor Drinking — Major Problems" gave residents facts about the prevalence of teen drinking, its dangers to developing youths, the legal liabilities of supplying minors with alcohol, and products parents might not realize that contain alcohol.
"This is a big concern for all of us because, as you know, in their young age, alcohol and teenagers is not a good mix," said moderator and TeWinkle Intermediate School Principal Rich Rodriguez.
The meeting, which was sponsored by TeWinkle's English Learners Advisory Committee and the Orange County chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, came together after a survey showed higher rates of teen drinking in Newport Beach than in other parts of the county.
In the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, 23% of freshmen reported having had at least one drink in the past 30 days in the state Department of Education's California Healthy Kids Survey for 2010, according to the meeting.