A student in North Andover, Mass. was recently punished by her school after she gave her under-aged friend a ride home from a house party when the friend proved too inebriated to drive. Although the school is punishing the student for violating its zero tolerance policy, the student is arguing that she did the right thing by helping a friend in need.
Earlier in October, Erin Cox, an honors student at North Andover High School in Massachusetts, got a call from a friend who was at a party and too drunk to drive home. After finishing her work shift, Cox drove to the nearby city of Boxford to pick up the friend and drive her safely home. Moments later, police arrived at the house to cite under-aged teens in possession of alcohol at the party. Although Cox was cleared by police as being sober, the school cited the student, a senior, as being in violation of its zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol consumption.
As punishment, Cox was demoted as captain of the school's volleyball team and suspended for the next five games. Her parents have since filed a lawsuit in the district court seeking to have the school reverse its decision to punish Erin. The district court's judge quickly responded, however, that the court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case.
Eleanor Cox, Erin's mother, told CBS Boston that she is proud of her daughter and doesn't believe she did anything wrong.
"She didn't do anything wrong. She did what she thought was right, and I'm very proud of her," Eleanor Cox said. Erin added to The Boston Herald that she believes she did the right thing in giving her friend a ride home. "I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do. Saving her from getting in the car when she was intoxicated and hurt herself or getting in the car with someone else who was drinking. I'd give her a ride home," she told the local paper.
Geoffrey Bok, an attorney who represents the school, told The Boston Herald that the school made its decision regarding Cox because it is trying to take a principled stance regarding alcohol consumption among students."The school is really trying to take a very serious and principled stand regarding alcohol," Bok told the Boston Herald.
Although the school is standing behind its decision, Cox's teammates from the school's volleyball team have reportedly rallied behind her, circulating a petition to have the school reverse its demotion and game suspension punishment.