“Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.” “Life isn’t fair.”  “No good deed goes unpunished.”  “Shit happens.”  “Karma is a bitch.”  Nice quotes.  I’ve seen all of them on blogs discussing the suspension of Honor Student Erin Cox from her position as captain of the North Andover High School volleyball team.  Oh and let’s not forget these beauties: “She’s lying, she was there to party like the rest of them,” “Too bad, she knew the rules, she chose to break them anyway,” “She had no business being there, tough for her.”  Really?  So what does this say about the adults in charge at Andover and those parents in general who want to ruin this girl’s chance to play volleyball in college?  Maybe a little jealous of a kid who works hard and succeeds?  Maybe.  Of course, they defend their actions based on the “zero tolerance” policy they have in place for athletes.  Basically, any zero policy means that the administration is too stupid and cowardly to make their own judgments.  It’s the same lack of intelligence and rational thought that gets a kid expelled for a pop-tart pistol.

It may not mean much now Erin, but you did the right thing.

It may not mean much now Erin, but you did the right thing.

So she gets a text while she’s working.  Yup, the party’s raging.  Again, she’s at work.  A friend texts to ask for a ride home.  Been there done that.  I’ve had the pleasure of picking up buddies who were too wrecked to drive and certainly didn’t want mom or dad showing up to escort them out of the soiree.  I’m quite sure this scene has played out countless times, all over the country, for years and years.  I never got suspended for my largess, although a few friends treated my beat-up Ford Maverick to a back-seat Technicolor yawn.  We looked out for each other.  We were friends.  That’s what you do.  Not anymore apparently.  Now it’s every man (or girl) for themselves.

Let’s not forget, no one came to the aid of the young girl in Steubenville who was passing in and out of consciousness, being filmed while she was violated at a local party.  I mention this because at the time that story was raging I kept hearing pundits and blog comment-creatures ripping her friends for abandoning her.  “Where were her friends?”, “why didn’t anyone intervene?”, “why didn’t someone take this girl home?”  Simple.  People are taught to avoid any implication or possible responsibility.  Hell, you can get sued for being a Good Samaritan by the person you’re coming to the aid of.  And now this.

One would think that she could get a pass here.  After all, she arrived mere moments before the police, who vouched for her being sober, not drinking, had no intention of drinking and “did not even have the slightest odor of alcohol on her person.” Even though the school district’s attorney lied to a judge about her being arrested, she was not.

I don’t know Ms. Cox obviously. I do know girls like her though.  Girls who care deeply for their friends, girls who look out for each other.  My wife is one of those women.  So were my sisters.  And it looks quite like my daughters fall into that same category.  We need to encourage more girls to care for each other.   Once we start telling kids that they’re on their own, we end up with lonely teens, often with socially awkward ones left to the mercy of the local bullies who hound them literally to death.  Tell her friend to call her parents?  Yup, that’ll work out fine.  She’ll feel she has no one she can trust and next time, she’ll text no one.  She’ll just get into the next booze-filled ride available.

So Andover wants their students to be “responsible” but selfish, distant and uncaring.  Look out for number one or you’ll lose your privileges.  Neat message. In an even more startling note, MADD supports the school district here, even though Erin’s friend could have ended up in a car driven by another intoxicated teen.  Or she could have ended up another Steubenville-type victim.  Be careful what you wish for here, idiots.  You may just get it.  The next time a teen drinks and they will, they’ll go it alone.  They’ll get into a car and drive or get “taken home” by some stranger with other ideas in mind.

And your inane, zero-tolerance, “no thought required” policy will be at the heart of it.  The next victim is courtesy of MADD and the Andover School District.

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