You read that right. A North Andover Massachusetts teenager did the right thing by picking up her inebriated friend from a party to drive her home. Erin Cox is now punished for it by being demoted from Captain of her volleyball team and suspended from five games.
Erin, who is actually the younger sister of my friend Liz, got a phone call from her friend two weeks ago who was too drunk to drive home from a party. Common sense, human decency, and good friendship would all point to Erin’s actions, which were to go to the party, pick up her friend, and get her home safe.
What was she supposed to do, tell her to drive herself home?
The disciplinary actions brought forth by North Andover High School are suggesting exactly that. They are claiming that Erin was in direct violation of the school’s no tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use.
Erin is an honor student, and was cleared by the police officers who were breaking up the party when she arrived – they knew she had not been drinking and had no alcohol in her possession.
I don’t know about you – but I had high school classmates get killed drunk driving when I was younger. Someone like Erin Cox would have saved their life.
What are we teaching our younger generations? Don’t help a friend, who is in need, if it conflicts with school policy?
Thoughts about underage drinking aside – what we have here is TWO teenagers who at the end of the day, acted responsibly. One who recognized she wasn’t able to drive and called for help, and another who left her house to go give her friend a ride.
Erin, we’re standing behind you – you did the right thing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.