Massachusetts Teen Punished For Giving Intoxicated Friend Ride Home From Party

Erin Cox (Photo: WBZ-TV)

Erin Cox (Photo: WBZ-TV)

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (WBZ-TV) – It’s tough for Eleanor Cox to talk about how heartbroken her daughter Erin is over the punishment she received for doing what she thought was right.

“She’s very fragile and I’m worried about her. Very worried about her. She didn’t do anything wrong,” Cox told WBZ-TV on Sunday.

Two weeks ago, Erin received a call from a friend at a party who was too drunk to drive. Erin drove to Boxford after work to pick up her friend. Moments after she arrived, the cops arrived too and busted several kids for underage possession of alcohol.

A North Andover High School honor student, Erin was cleared by police, who agreed she had not been drinking and was not in possession of alcohol. But Andover High told Erin she was in violation of the district’s zero tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use. In the middle of her senior year, Erin was demoted from captain of the volleyball team and told she would be suspended from playing for five games.

“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,’” said attorney Wendy Murphy, who is trying to help the Cox family get the school’s decision reversed.

The Cox family filed a lawsuit in District Court on Friday but a lawyer for the school district argued against any kind of injunction. The judge ruled the court did not have jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the parents of Erin’s teammates have started a petition to support her.

Neither the school district nor its attorney could be reached for comment Sunday, but the Cox family is hoping they’ll listen to the host of supporters who’ve stood behind Erin.

“She didn’t do anything wrong. She did what she thought was right, and I’m very proud of her,” Erin’s mother said.

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