NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – The North Andover High School's girls volleyball team won their match against Tewksbury High School Wednesday night; however, Erin Cox, the former captain who was suspended for five games after attempting to pick up an intoxicated friend at a party, was not on the court.
Wednesday's game was the last of five games Erin was forced to sit out after she was caught by police at an underage drinking party in Boxford. However, Erin was not there to enjoy the party, but rather to pick up a friend who had texted her asking for a ride.
A police officer even vouched for Erin, writing a letter to the district after hearing she had been punished.
"Erin did not have the slightest odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person. She was polite, articulate, steady on her feet, and very remorseful for her decision to go into the residence, but was only helping out a friend that had called her for a ride," the officer wrote.
Erin was summoned to court along with other students who were also punished. Some students were even arrested.
As a result, Erin was stripped of her rank as captain of the volleyball team and lost her leadership positions in the National Honor Society and the school choir.
Erin's story has gained national attention, even sparking online petitions from people who say Erin did exactly what adults lecture teens about: making sure a friend didn't drink and drive.
Erin's absence on the volleyball court has been felt by her teammates. The team had been undefeated until they lost to Andover last week in Erin's absence.
Parents whose children are on the team are siding with Erin saying she seems like a nice, quiet kid.
North Andover Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hutchinson told FOX 25 student record information is confidential. He added he has no plans to review the decision, and Erin's volleyball suspension will not go on her permanent record.
Dr. Hutchinson also issued a statement on the school's website that says in part, "The MIAA's and, by extension, North Andover High School's chemical health rule prohibits student-athletes from possessing alcohol, in addition to prohibiting its use, consumption, or distribution.
Erin and her mother had no comment, but their attorney told FOX 25 they plan to sue the school system.