A Conscientious Objector: Lessons from Erin Cox



You have heard the headlines of the North Andover High School volleyball captain, Erin Cox who was suspended for five games and stripped of her captaincy for picking up a drunken friend at a party. It’s no surprise that the parents of Ms. Cox filed a lawsuit. Equally unsurprising but frightening when Eleanor Cox describes her daughter as “fragile.” I can only hope that her words are chosen for dramatic effect, designed to enhance the chances of the lawsuit.

The athletic code is clear. There are standards for student athletes and Ms. Cox violated them. Her only alternatives were not to let the friend drive home impaired or to get in the car with an impaired friend. She could have let an adult, hopefully her parents or the parents of her friend, know that a child was in trouble. A step her friend could have saved Ms. Cox if she had called her parents herself. Ms. Cox went to pick up her friend so that she wouldn’t get in trouble for drinking. There are consequences. And if fragility is the result, then Ms. Cox is ill prepared for adulthood, which is less than a year away.

Ms. Cox, my hope for you is that you serve the 5 game suspension and loss of captaincy, with dignity and the knowledge that you learned a valuable lesson in a scenario where the stakes were far below life and death where fragile is an appropriate response. And if you would do it all over again, given the same circumstances, then you are a conscientious objector and there’s still a price to pay for that. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi would tell you the same thing.

By: Peggy Lee – Originally posted on her site, HERE.

Editor’s Note:

I changed the title of Peggy’s article.  Her title is:  A Conscientious Objector: Lessons from Erin Cox. I share Peggy’s opinions about this incident.  I would like to say it’s a “teen-mentality” that comes to the conclusion that the only other option for a drunk teen is to get in the car with another drunk teen or drive home drunk themselves.  Sadly, this seems to be an adult mentality as well!  Look at the articles, all over the place – talking about, “What’s a teen to do?”  A TEEN should not enable other teens.  A TEEN should not be an accomplice to another teen avoiding consequence and choosing sneaky over honest. A TEEN does not have the driver-experience to handle a drunk passenger. (Nor do many adults, but we have more on-the-road experience.) A TEEN is old enough to understand the hard-cold-facts of life.  My sister works for a company that tallies minutes-late throughout the year.  Each. Minute. Tallied.  The limit for minutes allowed within the year are very low.  The company, (a big company) has a no exceptions rule.  Once an employee surpasses a certain (low) number of minutes late, the employee is fired.  It doesn’t matter how long the employee has worked for the company.  If an employee is going to be late, or is nearing that limit, s/he should call in and take the day unpaid.  Even then, the limit for unexcused absences is also VERY low! This is the REAL world.  This is the adult world.  It’s not easy, but as Peggy said – it’s steadily upon Ms. Cox.  I do have empathy for Ms. Cox.  I also have heartbreak and severe disappointment that this kind of story stirs up national conversation, while people have confirmed that they had no idea A 14-YEAR-OLD NON-VERBAL AUTISTIC BOY – AVANTE OQUENDO IS STILL MISSING, AFTER TWO WEEKS! More on that story, HERE!

Alicia Gonzalez