School Punishes Student Who Responded to Drunk Friend’s Call for Safe Ride Home

I’ve always been taught that a true friend is someone who is there for you in good and bad times and is always willing to sacrifice to help you.  They are there to help keep you safe and out of trouble.

Erin Cox, a senior at North Andover High School in Massachusetts also believed that’s what friends do for each other.  Several weeks ago, Erin got a phone call from a friend who was at a party and was too drunk to drive home.  Not wanting her friend to drive drunk, Erin went to the house where the party was being held to pick up her friend and give her a safe ride home.

“But I wasn’t drinking,” Cox told the Boston Herald. “And 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.”

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Just after Erin arrived at the house, the police showed up and began arresting underage drinkers.  Nearly a dozen teens were arrested for underage possession of alcohol.  Other teens at the party, including Erin were told that they may be summoned later on for drinking.  One police officer at the scene, Brian Neely, wrote in his statement that Erin was sober and that there was no sign that she had been drinking.

Several weeks later, school officials demoted Erin from team captain of the varsity volleyball team and gave her a five game suspension, just because she had showed up to give her friend a safe ride home.  The school cited its zero tolerance policy concerning alcohol and Erin’s presence at the party when the police showed up was all school officials needed to know.  They didn’t care about the why or any other circumstances.

The school’s decision to punish Erin for her Good Samaritan action has caused a stir among fellow students and the community.   But no matter how much they all complained to school officials, they were not about to reverse their decision.

Erin’s parents took the matter to court to clear Erin’s name and get her re-instated on the volleyball team, but the spineless judge said the court had no jurisdiction in the matter and refused to make a ruling.  The Cox family is still pushing for the school to correct their wrong, but so far, they refuse to budge and the family says Erin is devastated.

Eleanor Cox, Erin’s mom told the local news:

“She’s very fragile and I’m worried about her. Very worried about her. She didn’t do anything wrong.”

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

Wendy Murphy, the attorney representing the Erin and her family is still trying to work with school officials to clear Erin’s name and school records.  Murphy commented:

“If a kid asks for help from a friend, you don’t want that kid to say ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you. I might end up in trouble at school.’”

So once again we see a school’s complete lack of common sense concerning their zero tolerance policies.  Erin Cox responded to a friend’s call for help like any true friend would and the school is punishing her for it.  The students and parents need to establish their own zero tolerance for incompetence and lack of common sense on the part of the school officials.  All of the students and parents should protest and stay outside the principal’s office and home until Erin is cleared of any wrong doing, allowed back on the volleyball team as captain, her record cleared and she receive a personal apology in front of the entire school and parents from all of the school officials involved.

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