Town hall on underage drinking has disappointing turnout

Officials from the Ottumwa Teen Advisory Committee hosted a town hall meeting at Ottumwa High School Tuesday night, and committee members say they are very disappointed with the low turnout.

The group discussed underage drinking. A panel of four people shared frank and personal stories about the consequences of alcohol addiction at the meeting. Alan Brady, one of the event organizers says they did quite a bit of promoting around town yet only around 20 people were in attendance. One of Brady's missions with the committee is to educate parents to talk to their youth early about alcohol abuse.

"If you're talking to your kids about alcohol and drinking and going out and partying and you're just now talking to them when they come into high school, you're too late," Brady said. "You need to be talking to your kids when they're in fifth and sixth grade, making sure they know the message. Make sure they know how to say no and that they're making the right choices."

He said he's not sure when the next town hall event would be, but it is his hope teens are discouraged from drinking this prom season.