Erin Cox Owes North Andover an Apology – Valley Patriot Editorial (Nov. 2013)

Former North Andover High School volleyball captain Erin Cox claimed she was being suspended from the team and lost her captaincy because of a “zero tolerance policy” at North Andover High, after being caught at an underage drinking party.

She claimed she was only there “to give a drunk friend a ride home.”

She also claimed, through her mom and attorney, that she was the victim of sexism, an out of control school administration, and a campaign of “lies” against her.

Of course, Cox, her mom, and attorney were able to say all this on national TV, knowing that school officials were legally unable to dispute any claims being made because, you see … Erin Cox is a minor.

If school administrators had disputed any of Cox’s bogus claims they would surely lose a lawsuit for violating the privacy of a minor. Yet with no proof, in fact, with no evidence at all to show that Erin Cox’s “story” had any validity, national TV, radio and print news ran with her version of the story without even making a phone call to verify what they were reporting.

If they had, they would have found out what North Andover Patch’s Bryan McGonigle found out; North Andover doesn’t have a “zero tolerance policy”.

Yet, Attorney Wendy Murphy and the Cox family fueled that story of Erin’s victimhood for over a week on national TV.

We find that awfully convenient … and somewhat disgusting.

Especially after we learned last week that Erin Cox plead guilty in Lawrence District Court of not only being in possession of alcohol at an underage drinking party in Boxford … but also consuming it. (see story)

She also admits in her confession that she was at the party more than an hour before police officers showed up.

Cox agreed to enroll in a “diversion program” where she has to take mandatory programs and perform community service.

We also learned that it was Boxford Police Officer Brian Neeley who charged her for the offense of ‘minor in possession of alcohol’; something Wendy Murphy said was “a lie”.

Neeley was the officer who wrote an email to the North Andover officials saying Erin had not been drinking.

Witnesses in the courthouse that day tell The Valley Patriot that Erin Cox showed up with an attorney, but that attorney was not Wendy Murphy.

This bogus national story was nothing more than a hoax perpetrated on the news media to affect public opinion and embarrass high school Principal Scuzzarella so she would change her decision.

We believe that Erin Cox owes an apology to North Andover High School Principal Scuzzarella, North Andover School Administrators, and indeed the entire Town of North Andover for bringing such negative attention to the town and the school system under false pretenses.

We also believe an apology is owed to the other students at that party who were not treated “special” and had to be arraigned together while Erin Cox was allowed to avoid the press, pretend she wasn’t part of all this, and then quietly plead guilty on another day… a day she THOUGHT the press was not paying attention.

We were.

And we now know the truth.

The question is, will Erin Cox be the “hero” she was portrayed to be on TV, and actually do the right thing here? Will she do what a “good kid” would do by coming clean and publicly apologizing?

THAT is something we would expect from a “good kid”. It would make Erin Cox a real hero, someone whom younger kids could look up to … and someone worthy of a $500 Valley Patriot scholarship.