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Teen Drinking Crackdown

Drinking among Massachusetts teenagers is decreasing, according to the state's Department of Public Health. Recent numbers show 46 percent of high schoolers used alcohol in the past month, compared with 53 percent in 2001.

But administrators at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School are taking a hard-line approach to teenage drinking. The move comes after two students were taken to the hospital and another seven suspended for drinking at last week's football game. Tonight, students will have to bring their parents with them if they want to see their team play Hingham High School.

The Superintendent and Principal at Lincoln-Sudbury, John Ritchie, spoke with WBUR's Deb Becker about the requirement.

Interview post script: We asked a spokesperson from the Massachusetts chapter of MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, what he thinks of the high school's decision to require that students be accompanied by a parent to home games.

David Diolis says it's not going to solve the underlying problem of teenage drinking, but it is a start, "I think that the important thing that's happening here is that they're raising a dialogue, and they're also raising awareness among the teen's parents that perhaps there's a problem. Often times parents are the last ones to know that their teens are drinking or that they perhaps they even have a problem with alcohol."

Diolis says that despite declining rates of underage drinking, it still remains the number one drug problem among youth nationwide, and in Massachusetts.

This program aired on September 19, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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