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North Andover senior punished for helping intoxicated friend

5:09 AM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
Eleanor Cox
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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The family of North Andover High School senior Erin Cox filed a lawsuit against the school last Friday, after their daughter was stripped of her position as captain and suspended from the volleyball team for five matches.

Cox, an honor roll student, received a call from her friend two weeks ago, asking for a ride home from a party at which her friend was intoxicated. Shortly after Cox arrived at the party, the police arrived to break up the party.

Cox was questioned by the police and then cleared when they agreed that she had not been drinking. However, Andover High administration told Cox that she was in violation of the district's zero tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use, which led to her suspension from the team.

Now, the family is trying to get the decision reversed.

"She's very fragile and I'm worried about her, very worried about her," her mother Eleanor Cox said. "She did nothing wrong."

Once the Cox family filed the lawsuit, a lawyer for the school district argued against any kind of injunction. The judge in the case ruled that the court did not have any jurisdiction. The family's lawyer, Wendy Murphy, believes that the school is setting a bad precedent if any other students get into trouble with drugs or alcohol.

"If a kid asks for help from a friend, we don't want that friend to say, 'sorry I can't help you I might end up in trouble at school,'" Murphy said.

Meanwhile, parents of Cox's teammates started sending a petition around showing their support for Cox. Now the Cox family is hoping that the district will listen to the supporters of their daughter and overturn the decision.


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