Education
Erin Cox/screenshot Erin Cox/screenshot  

Model student punished for helping drunk friend get home safely

Photo of Robby Soave
Robby Soave
Reporter

School “zero tolerance” policies claimed another victim as Massachusetts high school student Erin Cox was suspended from her volleyball team after giving an intoxicated friend a ride home from a party.

Police determined that Cox had not consumed alcohol, and agreed that the honors student had only come to a party featuring underage drinking in order to make sure a friend got home safely.

But Andover High School decided to punish Cox anyway, determining that she had violated the school district’s zero tolerance policy against drug and alcohol use. Cox was demoted from her position as captain of the volleyball team, and suspended for five games.

According to AHS’s student handbook, student athletes are forbidden from “knowingly being and remaining in the presence of other minors using alcohol or illegal drugs or controlled substances.” Since Cox admittedly attended the party–in order to help her drunk friend–she violated the policy.

But Cox’s mother says she did the right thing, regardless of district policy.

“She didn’t do anything wrong,” said Eleanor Cox. “She did what she thought was right, and I’m very proud of her.”

The Cox family hired a lawyer, hoping to get Erin’s punishment reversed. But the school doubled down, even claiming that Erin had been arrested by the police while picking up her friend. This was a lie, according to CBS News.

The situation has greatly distressed Erin, a model student, said her mother.

“She’s very fragile and I’m worried about her,” said the mother.

An Alabama high school student recently committed suicide after facing harsh disciplinary measures — including possible registration as a sex offender — because he went streaking at a football game. (RELATED: Student threatened with sex offender status commits suicide)

AHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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