Some believe Massachusetts athlete's punishment for helping her drunk friend too harshWest Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - After a Massachusetts high school decided to suspend an honor student/athlete for picking up her drunken friend from a party.
By: Andrea Hubbell, WDAY
West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - After a Massachusetts high school decided to suspend an honor student/athlete for picking up her drunken friend from a party.
Now, her parents argue the punishment is too harsh.
Over on the east coast, there's a zero tolerance policy.
Same goes here.
Police in Massachusetts told the school - the teen wasn't drinking.
Still - the volleyball player was stripped of her captainship and suspended for five games.
In sports, it takes a lot of dedication and drive, no matter how good you are.
To ruin it, can take only a bad decision
Amanda Levin – West Fargo Senior: "I've heard of a couple of stories of a couple people getting into trouble."
This is Amanda Levin she plays volleyball for the Packers.
As a senior she's seen her share of underage drinking.
Levin: "It’s kind of the high school thing to do."
And as an athlete, she knows the consequences too.
Levin: "no substance abusive. Kind of, you can get in trouble for that. And that would be suspended for six weeks I think."
Of course it depends on the situation.
Curt Jones – West Fargo Athletic Director: "We'll take every incident case by case."
Athletic Director, Curt Jones tells us they have a strict policy at West Fargo High.
If anyone is found with alcohol, tobacco or drugs, that person will be suspended for six weeks if it happens in season.
Out of season - they'll ride the bench for 4 weeks.
That's for the first offense.
If there's a second that suspensions extends to 18 weeks.
A third - results in ineligibility.
Jones: "We want to make it a learning situation, we want to help with the families, help with the student. So, that they can learn from those mistakes. And then move forward and hopefully make it as a onetime occurrence and not a consistent occurrence where they get in deeper trouble."
That's where Senior, Erin Cox found herself - even though she wasn't drinking.
And some are calling a red card on the east coast school.
Levin: "I don't think it's really fair. She was helping a friend, ya know. She wasn't drinking."
Cox's family attorney states to ABC news: "By Punishing Erin Cox, North Andover School District sends a contrary and very dangerous message, that young people are better off letting their friends drive drunk”
And peers agree.
Levin: "I guess she was at the wrong place at the wrong time and I guess you have to look out for yourself too when you're looking out for your friends as well."
The Cox family brought a lawsuit at the school but it failed.