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Case Highlights Alcohol Policy At Fargo Schools - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Case Highlights Alcohol Policy At Fargo Schools

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  • Student Punished for Driving Home Drunk Friend

    Student Punished for Driving Home Drunk Friend

    A Massachusetts high school senior has lost her volleyball team captaincy and been suspended for five games for what she says was an effort to help a drunken friend. North Andover High School's Erin Cox
    A Massachusetts high school senior has lost her volleyball team captaincy and been suspended for five games for what she says was an effort to help a drunken friend.

A story has sparked a big debate on our Facebook page all day long and its getting national attention.

Erin Cox, a Massachusetts High Schooler, was pulled from her post as captain of her school's volleyball team, and suspended for five games, after admitting she drove to a party to pick up a fellow student who was too drunk to drive.

That's when police also arrived, busting the party.  And although Erin was not cited because she was sober, she's still facing consequences under the school's zero tolerance alcohol policy.

We looked into what the consequences would be in our area.

Fargo Public Schools may not have a zero tolerance policy, but they have something similar called "Mere Presence". Assistant Principal Travis Christensen explains.

"Your not consuming, your not in possession, but you're at attendance of a party going on." Christensen says.

The student handbook says if a student consumes or is in possession of an illegal substance, they would be suspended from student activities for 6 weeks.

But it also says being in the presence of alcohol or drugs still puts you in 'Mere Presence' and the consequence would be missing the school activity for 2 weeks or 2 contests whichever is greater.

We shared with Christensen your criticisms of the school on Facebook, and asked him to explain Fargo's position.

"Once you go in that house you're in attendance. If you're outside on the street and someone calls you and then you get there and you say ok come out here and I'll take you home, you're clear." Christensen says.

Like mentioned before, Erin Cox's Massachusetts High School policy is different, it's a zero tolerance, although her mother Eleanor Cox says her daughter was just helping a friend stay safe.

"She did what she thought was right and I'm very proud of her for that." Eleanor Cox says with tears on her face.

Fargo Public Schools says their policy has improved through the years to become more educational then punishable.

"Got to educate them to make smart decisions, we all know that as we've lived through this that negative things are more than likely going to be consequences of being around alcohol,drugs, so on and so forth." Christensen says.

He also explained that once someone is inside a home it becomes hard to prove whether or not they intended to drink.

You can join the conversation and sound off whether or not you agree with these policies, right now on our Facebook page just click here.
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