Most parents would not be okay with another adult giving their children permission to get a tattoo, quit school or get married. But when it comes to letting their children attend a party where there might be alcohol, even with parental supervision, parents might not say no. Participants in a Town Hall Thursday, Nov. 3, want to change that.

Local chemical, education and law enforcement professionals will explore how parents can keep kids safe and social at Maple Grove Community Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The town hall is being publicized to parents in Osseo, Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center School districts.

Town Hall attendees will learn about their children and their own legal consequences for allowing underage drinking on their property. A local city attorney will discuss the Social Host Ordinance, which makes it illegal to host a party where there is underage alcohol consumption, even if the host is underage. Local police chiefs and a detective will discuss recent enforcement of the ordinance and the new expanded ordinance in Osseo.

Panelists will also give tips for parents communicating with their children and other parents, including what parents can do if they find out their child was allowed to drink in another home. Parents sometimes feel ambivalent telling their children they cannot attend or host a party, afraid their children will be ostracized. Experts will discuss how to help kids arrive at safe decisions and give both parents and youth tools to say no to gatherings with alcohol. Parents will leave feeling more comfortable discussing safe choices around alcohol with their children and other adults. There will also be a question and answer period.

Town Hall presenters will include Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner, Regional Prevention Coordinator Lindsey Smith, Detective Angela Tschida of Maple Grove Police Department, Osseo Police Chief Shane Mikkelson, Rose McKinney of Our Young Addicts, Krista Brenno from Osseo Area Schools, attorney who prosecutes cases for Maple Grove Steve Tallen, and Community Chair of Partnership for Change Teresa Lunt.

The Town Hall is sponsored by North Memorial Health Care and Partnership for Change, a local coalition working to reduce drug use among youth and young adults in northwest Hennepin County.


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