Meet the Honor Student Who Was Punished for Giving a Drunk Friend a Ride

Meet the Honor Student Who Was Punished for Giving a Drunk Friend a RideCare 2 – by Judy Molland

When Massachusetts high school senior Erin Cox went to pick up a drunk classmate from a party, she thought she was doing the right thing. However, administrators at North Andover High School seem to disagree. They are punishing her for her action, citing the school’s zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.

We teach our kids to be responsible and to help others in need. That’s exactly what the 17-year-old was doing when she showed up to help her friend, but her school decided to punish her even though she was doing what any good parent or teacher would encourage her to do.  

Cox, an honor student and volleyball star, received a cell phone message from an intoxicated friend asking for a ride home from a party earlier this month.

Earlier this month, 17-year-old Erin Cox, captain of North Andover’s volleyball team, finished work at the Andover Inn and then met friends at an Andover yogurt shop. There she got a cellphone message from a friend who’d been drinking at a party. She asked Erin to come get her.

Erin did.

Dont let friends drive drunk, we tell our kids. If youve been drinking, call mom or dad to come get you — no questions asked, we tell them, too. And if you cant call your parents, call a sober friend.

Erin’s friend called sober Erin. Erin drove to a home on Main Street in Boxford and worked her way through a wild scene of partying teens until she finally found that friend — just as police from Boxford, Haverhill, Georgetown and North Andover showed up. They arrested a dozen underage drinkers and warned another 15 underage youths that they’d be summoned to court for drinking.

Erin Cox was one of those told she’d be summoned for drinking — even though she wasn’t, even though Boxford police Officer Brian Neeley vouched for her sobriety in writing

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The sober 17-year-old had just finished work at the local yogurt shop, so she went to pick up her friend. Minutes after Cox showed up at the party, police showed up, according to the Cox family’s attorney, Wendy Murphy.

While Cox was cleared by police who recognized her sobriety, her school has given her a harsh punishment.

“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.”

Zero Tolerance Policies Gone Wrong

It seems that some schools have lost all sense of clear thinking, not to mention fairness, when they implement their zero tolerance policies. Earlier this month I wrote about Kyle Thompson, a 14-year-old who was joking around with his buddies at Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, Mich., last March, when one of those friends grabbed a sheet of paper labeled “Hit List” out of Thompson’s notebook.

As the teacher went to take the paper from Thompson, a tug-of-war ensued, and the teacher ended up accusing Thompson of assaulting her. He was handcuffed, arrested, expelled and will face assault charges.

Then there is the case of Kiera Wilmot, the teenager whose science experiment harmlessly exploded on school grounds. Initially, she was expelled from school and charged with two felonies: “possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds” and “discharging a destructive device.”

Charges were eventually dropped, but what has happened to common sense amongst school administrators?

Punished for Doing the Right Thing

Erin Cox, who dreams of playing volleyball in college, is being punished for doing the right thing, her mother told ABC News.

“She did what she thought was right, and I’m proud of her for that,” Eleanor Cox said.

Is the school district saying that Cox’s friend, who was intoxicated, should have driven herself home in her inebriated state? That is a really dangerous message for the North Andover School District to send.

The Cox family filed a lawsuit against the school on Friday in an attempt to get officials to reverse the punishment. The case was dismissed, but the family is hoping that pressure from supporters will persuade school officials to reverse their decision.

Cox told the Herald she feels “defeated,” but she said she doesn’t regret her actions: “It was the right thing,” she said.

If you agree that Erin Cox’s actions deserve praise, not punishment, please sign our petition urging the North Andover School District to rescind their punishment.

And thank you.

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3 thoughts on “Meet the Honor Student Who Was Punished for Giving a Drunk Friend a Ride

  1. In a related story, Jan Withers, the President of MADD, stated on T.V. that punishing Erin Cox was the proper thing to do. Imagine that….an organization AGAINST drunk drivers persecuting a sober driver for doing what she knew was the right thing to do !!!
    Many of America’s organizations, which started out as a good thing, have been taken over by Commie’s. Jan Wither’s is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

  2. All those adults responsible for doing the “wrong” thing, in punishing this 17yr old responsible person…….know they are wrong or should know they are wrong.
    Giving backbone to an idiot school system…is not the same as giving backbone to clear thinking….The school principal should be thrown out……..where’s the school board’s voice?
    And MADD…..coming into the picture and giving a nonsense response…also…….leads a reader to ask! “Is it possible to get out of harms way anymore, anywhere in America.”
    For some reason I don’t understand, rage against, one another, prevails over decency of character, towards one another….THis infection is within the Military, the Police, Public officials, and even down to school children…….
    And oh, the media too………It may be the worst there….if so, that would explain at least some of this evil infection……..the same 0h, same Oh gets putout millions of times a day, all across our land……….and what’s the result?
    More of what’s written, read…consumed…eventually, lived out!

  3. This is just truly sad and pathetic but is the route that is taken to continue to alter the minds of children that to do wrong is right and to do the right thing is wrong.

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