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Teen Punished by School For Helping Her Friend

High School Student Punished For Acting as Designated Driver

Sometimes, doing a good deed lands you in a bad situation. Erin Cox, a senior at North Andover High School in Massachusetts, learned this lesson a few weeks ago, CBS News reports. The honor student and volleyball captain received a call from an intoxicated friend asking for a ride home. Cox, who was completely sober, drove to a party to pick up her friend and arrived at the same time as local police. Realizing that she had not been drinking, police cleared Cox of any charges. Her high school's administrators, however, were not as forgiving.

The administration stripped Cox of her captaincy of the volleyball team and suspended her for five games. Administrators said that by being at a party when alcohol was present, Cox violated their zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, and as a result, she was punished.

But Cox and her parents refused to sit on the sidelines and accept the punishment. Last Friday, the family filed a lawsuit against the school in hopes that the administration will reverse the punishment. The judge, however, ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction over the issue. The family hopes that pressure from the community will convince the school to change the decision.


Despite being temporarily banned from sports, Cox stands behind her choice.

"When you’re in high school you’re supposed to stay perfect and be perfect, but everyone makes mistakes," Cox told the Boston Herald. When asked if she would do it all over again, she didn't think twice. "It was the right thing."

Do you think the school was right to punish Cox or was their ruling too harsh?

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CoMMember13613612986856 CoMMember13613612986856 3 years
That's messed up if she didn't go into the party it shouldn't matter at all if she was there or not according to the school. They shouldn't be able to do that at all.
caracm caracm 3 years
PLEASE read this before you show your outpouring of sympathy for this liar.... It is finally coming out that she is lying - and now the mom is asking for donations for her defense in court.... scumbags
caracm caracm 3 years
Again, as I tried to state before it got deleted, this girl was AT the party and was drinking. She was also the only one that was puking at this party. There are 40-50 witnesses (fellow students) and most of them are livid that she is not only getting away with this lie but that it has perpetuated to this degree - while they have all accepted, willingly or not, their punishment. This is just a little while lie that she told her mom so she wouldn't get grounded, that got blown WAY out of proportion. It will come out soon enough - there are pics and vids.
629Roo 629Roo 3 years
This sends a great message to kids to do the right thing.
caracm caracm 3 years
My original comment stating the proof that she is lying was deleted? Real nice.
caracm caracm 3 years
And before anyone jumps down my throat, I live in this town. I have heard the buzz, while waiting in line at the Dunkin Donuts near the highschool, through high-school aged students in my neighborhood, etc. It's all going to be brought to light eventually, and she will be guilty of accepting funds, lying to police, etc.
DarlaBeamon DarlaBeamon 3 years
*college; etc would be and file a cival suit against the school district. Dont get me wrong there must be zero tolerance but also there are mitagating circumstances especially in a case like this. Perhaps the schools admin could write an essay on why they are not supporting what they preach.
DarlaBeamon DarlaBeamon 3 years
As a retired teacher I am appalled by this schools decision to punish a child for doing the noble thing. Not all situations are black and white. This is one of those cases where there is gray areas. Taking a weapon, drugs, alcohol, sexual harrassment, bullying both physically and emotional (including cyber bullying), etc at school should be zero tolerence. However what students do once they leave school should be handled by the parents. We wonder why parents dont participate in their childs education and support giving respect that deservedly belongs to teachers; well I cannot blame them when schools take a parents resposibility to parent away. Personally if it were me and the courts sided with the school then I would go after the school in a monetary way. I would figure out what the cost would be by having the title ripped away and the suspensions, as well as a cost of life report (cost of ambulance, medical cost, and in case of death what the cost of a funeral and the persons loss of potential income, collerge scholarships/grants
Crissy14966749 Crissy14966749 3 years
This is wrong on so many levels! Her friend was right to call for a ride rather than drive home drunk, get in an accident and kill someone (maybe one of the individuals who are doing the punishing, or a member of their family.) Then it would have been, why didn't she call for a ride? So! did the right thing to help a friend in need, and I hope she realizes that. Friends are forever, not to be lost to poor decisions. Good luck
Tanya14966028 Tanya14966028 3 years
Never mind, she was penalized because she was at a party that alcohol and drugs were present. She is no longer the team captain and she was suspended for 5 games. If she feels like she saved her friends lives, then this is only a minimal consequence. Take it and keep on moving.
Tanya14966028 Tanya14966028 3 years
First of all, we need to stop giving children this false misconception that if you make the right choice, the consequences are always going to be positive. Second of all, did she truly make the right choice. How old were these friends that called her to pick them up from a party drunk? Chances are, they are close to her age, which means that she probably has not made the best choice in friends. I do know that some sports teams hold there students to a higher integrity which would result in the zero tolerance policy. Now I would be interested in what the zero tolerance policy actually states.
PattiAnnGriep PattiAnnGriep 3 years
Schools are now 'Institutions stuck in stupid'! In this case they would have preferred 'A DEAD STUDENT' over 2 students who are alive and safe!!!!!
TraceeFarmer TraceeFarmer 3 years
This is so typical of liberal PC thinking that has and continues to ruin our country. Especially by most people, not all, but most people in the education field. They resemble many of our politicians. They preach one thing and do another. Care about others but not so that you will hurt our reputation. These administrators don't care about our kids, just how it makes them look. I also think they punish the children who are leaders so that it doesn't make the bad kids look worse. Another PC mantra, dumb everyone down so we can ALL look good. It's outrages and disgusting.
LaurieRothweiler LaurieRothweiler 3 years
I don't understand how this is any of the school's business if it wasn't a school sponsored activity or on school property.
BobbiBolio BobbiBolio 3 years
This school is ridiculous in their response to this. How can we teach our children morals and right from wrong when a school wants to punish them for it. I would be proud of and support my child for making this right decision! I I don't disagree with alcohol, I do disagree with over indulging whether you are an adult or a child. The one thing I drill into teens I care about is if you have been drinking call me to pick you up and it won't be discussed again. I would rather have them be safe than worry about what your doing wrong. I cannot imagine what this school thinks they are going to help their students with!
missnanny missnanny 3 years
So if a teacher gets caught drinking and driving, they are suspended with pay while the investigation goes on. Where is the zero tolerance policy for the teacher. The teacher should be fired immediately. This school made a stupid decision and I hope the backlash from it shakes them up for a long time
BobbiBolio BobbiBolio 3 years
trianamargetts trianamargetts 3 years
we ask that our kids be responsible , this young lady was rang by a drunk friend for a lift home she went and got her friend she didnt drink and drive she did what was right and for this she was punished would the school rather she said no im on the baseball team and her friend drove home drunk and possibly got killed ,the school wants a good kick in the pants this young lady did a morally right thing and is punished for it and people wonder why kids are disrespectful and fighting the system all the time , well maybe its because when they do behave responsibly they get punished anyway reverse your decision headmaster and then go on a course about how and why teenagers behave they do , perhaps you should be suspended till you have done this
Lyndall14965186 Lyndall14965186 3 years
She done the right thing I think!!
JacoRautenbach1377001854 JacoRautenbach1377001854 3 years
Personally I would just change schools; idiots like this can't teach you anything. Good luck Erin, and kick their butts.
RachaelMoyers RachaelMoyers 3 years
So essentially this school is teaching their students to drive drunk.... because that is what the students are getting from this. "Don't go help a friend who made a bad decision, better to hope they make it home ok"! Both people made the right decision! The drunk friend made the decision to call for a ride, the sober friend answered that call. This is ridiculous.
MarlarMathis1379319409 MarlarMathis1379319409 3 years
No this was stupid we want to teach our kids not to drink and drive and also how to help and maybe save a life !!!!! And you want to punish her for being a role model by not drinking and by trying to help someone who has been drinking really!!!!!
anonymousanonymous anonymousanonymous 3 years
Hmmm... I think there may be holes in this story. Who knows what the real truth is. We don't know if this girl managed to lie her way out of this by telling the police that she was only picking up her friend. There needs to be more investigation into this story. Hopefully, Erin is telling the truth but sometimes we believe the biased journalists before getting the entire truth!
TammyLandryHaas TammyLandryHaas 3 years
Erin, by far did the right thing and seems to me so much more responsible than any of the school administrators. "Zero Tolerance" is completely unacceptable!!! Zero Tolerance is an excuse for the administrators to be able to play brain dead and not use common sense!!! These schools today are giving our kids so many mixed messages! "You need to be respectful" - although I'm going to be condescending to you and belittle you in front if the class. But! "Y'all make sure you don't bully others!" - Then follow you in the halls and harass you! "Don't drink and drive! And make sure there is a designated driver!" But if you pick up a friend that made a choice to drink, but was at least responsible enough to call someone for help that she trusted instead of driving drunk, we are going to punish you!" These kids seem more responsible and are trying to make correct choices and that is more than I can say for a lot of adults I know.
CoMMember13631186628874 CoMMember13631186628874 3 years
I hope this is reason to change zero tolerance. What is this saying to any age person and being a good friend.
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