Mass. School Punishes Student for Giving Drunk Friend a Ride

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 08:00 PM

By Lisa Barron

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An honor student at North Andover High School in Massachusetts has been punished by the school for showing up at a party to pick up her intoxicated friend and drive her home.

Two weeks ago, Erin Cox, 17, had just finished work at the Andover Inn when she received a call from a friend who said she was at a party and too drunk to drive. Cox  drove to the town of Boxford to get her, CBS Boston reports.

Police showed up just after Cox arrived, and arrested several people for underage possession of alcohol. Although Cox was cleared by police of any wrongdoing, Andover High told her she was in violation of the district's zero-tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use.

She reportedly has been demoted as captain of the volleyball team and told she would be suspended from playing for five games.

Cox is heartbroken, her mother told the station.

"She's very fragile, and I'm worried about her. Very worried about her. She didn't do anything wrong," Eleanor Cox said.

The Cox family filed a lawsuit in district court on Friday, but an attorney for the school district, Geoffrey Bok, argued against any injunction, and the judge ruled the court did not have jurisdiction in the case.

"The school is really trying to take a very serious and principled stand regarding alcohol," Bok told the Boston Herald.

Cox insists she did the right thing, telling the Herald, "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."

The parents of Cox's teammates have started a petition to support her, and the family is hoping the school district will reverse its position.

"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," the family's attorney, Wendy Murphy, told CBS Boston.

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