It’s a fairly standard “zero tolerance” policy, intended to keep students safe, and fearful of doing anything that might violate the policy. But this situation was certainly not one anticipated by the policy.
It is difficult to see how Cox violated this policy. No evidence has been presented that she participated in the party. The triggering events spelled out in the student handbook were not met. But she was at a party where others violated the policy, and thus, apparently, somehow met the criteria for violating it.
The Cox family has hired a lawyer, but a district court judge already has ruled he has no jurisdiction in such matters. There may be no legal recourse for Erin.
The story has gone national and subjected the North Andover school administration to much ridicule. It has also sparked a debate over the logic of applying “zero tolerance” policies blindly.
If public pressure does not compel school officials to overturn their decision, Erin Cox will have to be content with the knowledge that she did the right thing — and the adults charged with her “education” have behaved like fools.