Student Punished for Doing the Right Thing

Posted on Thursday 17 October 2013

Over on the Huffington Post there’s an article about a young woman who is getting punished for doing the right thing.

I really have to wonder what school officials think they are doing by punishing this young woman for doing what is pretty clearly the right thing to do. What does the school expect students will learn from this girl being punished.

Yes, she technically violated the letter of the regulations the school has set about drugs and alcohol. She was present at a place where alcohol was being served to underaged minors, including her friend. However, she did not violate the spirit of the regulation—she was not there to drink, but to pick up her friend so that her friend was not at risk of getting in the car with a drunk driver or driving drunk herself.

If anything, the school should be commending this young woman and the role model she is for her peers. She didn’t break the law by drinking illegally. She didn’t allow her friend to put themselves at risk by blindly following the school regulations. Erin did the right thing—for herself, for her friend and for society as a whole.

The school administration is really being short-sighted and stupid on this decision in my opinion. Here’s the story:

Erin Cox, Massachusetts Teen, Punished By School After Trying To Drive Home Intoxicated Friend

When Massachusetts high school senior Erin 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 on 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. However, Cox arrived at the party at the same time as the police, who were arresting a slew of students for underage drinking.

While Cox was cleared by police who recognized her sobriety, her school has given her a harsh punishment. The 17-year-old was stripped of her title as captain of the volleyball team, and she was suspended from five games.

“But I wasn’t drinking,” Cox 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 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, local station WBZ-TV reports.

“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 the outlet.

However, an attorney for the school told the Boston Herald that officials are standing firm on the punishment.

The district could not be reached for further comment at this time.

The Cox family is now hoping that pressure from supporters will persuade school officials to reverse their decision. A Reddit thread about the incident has already amassed more than 1,000 comments, most of which are in support of Cox.

“Better warn all students that they are not allowed to attend any party or enter an establishment that serves alcohol. That means no Applebee’s, no family gatherings, and no professional sporting events. Eventually they will be imprisoned in a small room where they will not be allowed to leave unless they have a game or until they graduate,” user Drewkat99 said in a comment.

Cox told the Herald she feels “defeated,” but she said she doesn’t regret her actions: “It was the right thing,” she said.

Of course, I know what it is like to be punished for doing the right thing. That’s essentially why I had to walk away from the woman I love. Unlike Erin, the woman I love is not capable of doing the right thing and her lies and narcissism are the reasons I finally decided to walk away from her and abandon a person I have loved for over 21 years.

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