North Andover High School, located in Boston, has undermined the hard work and dedication of people who have created a multitude of drunk driving campaigns as well as the work of MADD. MADD has spent many years educating people about the importance of having a designated driver if someone has been drinking and especially if that person is drunk. The high school has chosen to punish an honor student who did the right thing and attempted to act as a designated driver for her friend.
Honor student Erin Cox received a phone call from her friend, who had been drinking at a party, and immediately rushed to her friend’s aid by leaving work and attempting to give the girl a ride home. Shortly after she arrived at the party, the cops showed up and made a few underage drinking arrests. Since Cox had not been drinking, she was not in any trouble with the police, but unbelievably, she got into big trouble at her high school.
Instead of praising Cox for her immediate response and caring concern for her friend, North Andover High School issued Cox a suspension for five volleyball games and a demotion from her position as captain of the team. The reason? Some mumbo jumbo about a policy being violated. Apparently, Cox was expected to… what? Let her friend drive drunk? Ignore the call? What exactly would the high school have had Cox do? Call the police on her own friend? That’s a ludicrous suggestion for anyone who desires to live in modern reality.
The fact is, the school made one of the dumbest decisions ever upheld in the history of education in the United States, and now they’ll have to endure the ridicule of the entire nation; well-deserved ridicule for an entirely ridiculous decision.
Cox acted 100% appropriately and did the most responsible thing anyone would expect from a girl of her age: she intended to act as a designated driver for a friend who had been drinking. It’s the message that has been drilled into our brains for the last 25 years-“friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”
Apparently, North Andover High School thinks it is above the work of thousands of people, of many drunk driving campaigns and of Mother Against Drunk Driving, who state- “MADD has helped make “designated driver” a household name, decrease alcohol-related traffic deaths by more than 40 percent, and passed thousands of anti-drunk driving and underage drinking prevention laws.”
North Andover High School has basically flipped MADD the bird and punished a student who is midway through her senior year by penalizing her for making the exact correct decision. Her community stands behind her and her mother disagrees with the school’s decision. “She didn’t do anything wrong. She did what she thought was right, and I’m very proud of her,” said Cox’s mom.
An attorney for the Cox family echoed the thoughts of many community members when she said “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.”
North Andover High School has undermined MADD and many drunk driving campaigns with its decision.
Go home North Andover High School, you’re drunk.
By: Rebecca Savastio