Two weeks after being named The Boston Globe’s volleyball player of the week, Massachusetts high school senior Erin Cox made the news for a very different reason.
In the first article, “the two-year All-Conference player collected 51 assists in two games… securing her team a seven-game win streak. Coach Veronica Schaefer credited Cox with “increasing her teammates’ mental game and challenging them to step up their attack speed and try new things.”
In the latest, the 17-year-old was stripped of her title as captain of the volleyball team, and she was suspended from five games. Is this a case of good kid gone bad - or another case of zero tolerance policy gone too far?
The trouble started when Cox went to pick up an intoxicated classmate from a party, she thought she was doing the right thing. However, administrators at North Andover High School are punishing her for the deed, citing the school’s zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.
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, according to the Boston Herald. When Cox arrived at the party, the police were already there arresting a slew of students for underage drinking.
While Cox was cleared by police who recognized her sobriety, her school still gave her the 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.”
How many times have we told our own kids – don’t drink and drive, don’t ride with someone who’s been drinking, call a friend.
According to The Huffington Post, the Cox family filed a lawsuit against the school on Friday in an attempt to get officials to reverse the punishment. However, the district court judge ruled the court did not have jurisdiction over the issue.
“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,’” Cox family attorney Wendy Murphy told a television news source.
However, an attorney for the school told the Boston Herald that officials are standing firm on the punishment.
The Cox family is now hoping that pressure from supporters will persuade school officials to reverse their decision.
Friends of Erin are currently starting a petition, and users on Twitter have already begun attacking the school over their decision.
Cox told the Herald she feels “defeated,” but said she doesn't regret her actions: "It was the right thing.”