High school punishes senior for rescuing drunk friend from party
A Massachusetts high school is accused of lying in court to defend its’ sanctions against a senior for helping a drunk friend get away from a party for her own safety.
WBZ-TV reported on Sunday that Erin Cox’s family has hired its own attorney after the senior, a member of the North Andover High School girls’ volleyball team, was suspended for five games and stripped of her captaincy for allegedly violating the school’s zero-tolerance policy regarding drug and alcohol consumption.
The suspension stems from an incident in early October 2013 in which Cox drove to a party in nearby Boxford, Massachusetts to pick up a friend who had texted her asking Cox to pick her up because she was drunk. According to The Boston Globe, police from four communities in the area descended upon the party, arresting 12 attendees on underage drinking charges and telling Cox and 14 others they would receive court summons for allegedly drinking. At least one officer there, however, reportedly confirmed in writing to her family that she was sober at the time.
“I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do,” Cox told the Globe. “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”
Cox’s family filed an lawsuit on Friday seeking to reverse the school’s decision. But a District Court judge ruled that the court had no jurisdiction over the school’s decision.
“The school sent a lawyer there to defend the school,” attorney Wendy Murphy, who is representing the family, told WBZ. “And that lawyer said out loud to a judge — and it was a lie — that she was arrested.”
The school’s attorney, Geoffrey Bok, told the Globe that North Andover had no choice but to get involved after the arrests were made.
“The school is really trying to take a very serious and principled stand regarding alcohol, and we all get that.” Bok said to the Globe. “Teen drinking is a serious problem.”
Watch WBZ’s report on Cox’s suspension, aired on Sunday, below.