Erin Cox: Punished for helping drunk friend

Erin Cox picked up a drunk friend and got suspended from her high school volleyball team. Did Erin Cox do the right thing?

A Massachusetts high school senior lost her volleyball team captaincy and was suspended for five games for what she says was an effort to help a drunken friend.

North Andover High School's Erin Cox says she got a call two weeks ago from a friend at a party who said she was too drunk to drive. She said she went to pick up the friend, because she didn't want the friend driving drunk or getting into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

By the time Erin arrived at the party, police were already there. They arrested several students for underage possession of alcohol.

Erin was cleared by police for not drinking or being in the possession of alcohol, but that didn't stop school officials from punishing her for violating a no-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, her mother, Eleanor Cox, told WBZ-TV.

"She did what she thought was right, and I'm very proud of her," Eleanor Cox said.

“But I wasn’t drinking,” she 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,"

The family has hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit last week, but a judge ruled the court did not have jurisdiction.

Neither the school superintendent nor principal immediately responded to telephone messages left Tuesday.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Massachusetts said while Erin had good intentions, her friend should have called an adult.

Asked what she had learned, Erin Cox told the Boston Herald, “I just feel very defeated. When you’re in high school you’re supposed to stay perfect and be perfect, but everyone makes mistakes.” Asked if, knowing what she knows now, she was mistaken to get her friend, she said she would do it all over again.

“It was the right thing,” she said.

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