Zero Tolerance Idiocy: Producing Perverse, and Possibly Deadly Consequences

You’ve probably heard about this story already. Erin Cox decided to help a friend who was too drunk to drive home by picking her up and taking her home.

Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense

For her efforts, Erin was demoted from captain of the volleyball team, and suspended  from playing for five games. Police who busted kids at the drinking party determined that she had no alcohol, and had not been drinking. She was simply helping her friend.

In the bizarro world of zero-tolerance policies against all manner of things, simply being associated with the fact that alcohol was consumed is enough reason to punish you. What’s next? Will mentioning alcohol get you suspended?

So what is the lesson that kids from this school learn? If your friend calls you up to get a ride because they’re too drunk to drive (but apparently aren’t yet soused enough to be unable to make the call), you have to tell them “no, I can’t come pick you up, the school will suspend me under the zero tolerance policy. You’ll have to take your chances driving.”

I love how the judge ruled that the courts don’t have jurisdiction over the school’s punishment of the girl (read at the link for details). If the courts don’t have jurisdiction, who the hell does?

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.

via North Andover High Punishes Teen For Giving Drunken Pal Ride Home From Party « CBS Boston.


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