TODAY   |  October 15, 2013

Honor student punished for driving drunk friend home

TODAY’s Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales discuss the honor student who got pulled from playing several volleyball games after her high school said she broke a zero-tolerance policy by driving home a drunk friend who had called her from a party.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so the first story we're talking about, i tried to see the other side of it and i don't see it.

>> this is a tough one. a lot of people will have conversations about this.

>> a massachusetts high school student that went to the assistance of a friend that was too drunk to drive, in other words, went to a party to pick up a friend that had been drinking.

>> she was a desdemona ignitignated driver .

>> she took a call from a friend that was too drunk to drive. she drove after a shift to work to pick up a friend shortly before the police got there. cleared of any wrong doing.

>> completely sober.

>> no school, though, because she was there and they have a zero tolerance policy demoeted her from being captain of the volleyball team and gave her a five game suspension. they said by punishing her the school district sends a contrary and dangerous message that young people are better off letting their friends drive drunk. i tried to see the other side of it. they're saying we have a zero tolerance policy for you doing the right thing. even if you're there and others are drinking you're not supporting it. she is picking up her friends and was completely sober. it's hard to understand why they're reacting the way they did.

>> i think they had a knee jerk reaction and now they don't have the backbone to say, you know what, we made a mistake, we're going to walk this back. instead, they're going to stick with this even though it's a bone headed move and stay with it.

>> the frustrating thing is she did everything we asked of teenagers.

>> i would hope -- exactly.

>> call somebody in trouble.

>> i hope my daughter behaves that way.

>> erin cox should be held up as an example of what teenagers should do.

>> yeah and the friend too to recognize the fact that she was drunk and called her friend and said can you come pick me up? it's a sad statement.

>> doesn't make sense.

>> i'm sure we're going to hear more. we hope you'll weigh in on this conversation as well. just go to our website or even tweet us. #orangeroom.

>> do you think that this high school --

>> the suspension was warranted. she wasn't suspended from school.

>> i haven't heard it other than the umbrella zero tolerance