TODAY

TODAY   |  October 16, 2013

Mom defends daughter who helped drunk friend

In an interview with the Boston Herald, the mother of Erin Cox spoke out in defense of her daughter, who was punished by her school for driving home a drunk friend who needed a lift from a party. She says the school may be sending the wrong message to teens. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> help a friend is feeling the school's strict policy. katie has more. good morning.

>> stripped from her title as team captain , suspended for five games, all for what was the right thing to do. the 17-year-old is being punished for drinking and partying when she wasn't. and she has the cops to back her up.

>> reporter: 17-year-old erin cox got a message from a drunk friend at a party asking erin to come pick her up. but once the high schooler arrived, so did the police. a dozen teens were arrested for underage drinking . erin and 15 others were summoned to court as a warning. but according to one police officer , erin wasn't drinking.

>> he saw erin at the party. he was standing next to her. that she was perfectly sober. she didn't even have the slightest odor of alcohol.

>> reporter: despite the officer's written statement vouching for erin , her high school in massachusetts took action. not only benching the volleyball star for five games but removing her as team captain .

>> if she wasn't drinking and she wasn't at that party and she was picking up her friend to be safe, i would think that's what parents would want.

>> reporter: the school district answered it's critics with a statement saying it would not comment on matters of student discipline. adding they applied statewide rules which prevent student athletes from possessing alcohol in addition to prohibiting it's use, consumption and distribution. she interviewed erin and worries about the message this is sending.

>> the next time i kid get ace call from a friend that said i'm hurt, i'm sick. i'm passing out, the person on the other end of the phone is going to say, well, if i go help them, i'll be thrown off the team.

>> reporter: erin 's lawyer says she only has one game left in her suspension. right now the family is only considering suing the school, natalie.