Since 1983 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ad Council have been promoting the "Friends don't let friends drive drunk" campaign in an effort to put a halt to drunken driving.
No doubt many of you have either reached out to a friend to drive you home after imbibing or have volunteered to be the designated driver for a fun night out on the town or have even left your home late at night to give an intoxicated friend safe passage home.
Those individuals are true friends indeed; not just to the intoxicated individual, but also to anyone who happens to be out on the road.
I, myself, would call them heroes for potentially saving the lives of many others with their simple act.
Not so, according to the North Andover High School in Massachusetts when they stripped senior student Erin Cox of her title as team captain for the school's volleyball team and also suspended her from playing for five games after she arrived at a party to pick up her underaged friend who was too drunk to drive home.
The decision has created quite an uproar locally and across the nation and prompted Fox News legal analyst, Peter Johnson Jr., to declare that the school "wins the stupid award of the week."
According to reports, shortly after arriving to pick up her friend from the party, police arrived and arrested several students for underage drinking.
Cox was not one of them as she neither possessed nor had ingested any alcohol.
But that didn't stop the school from punishing her.
Under the school's zero-tolerance policy, she is guilty for just being there; even though she was acting in the capacity of a designated driver so that her friend would not get in her car and drive home impaired.
For me, this goes beyond something that simply makes me shake my head.
I sit here in utter disbelief that school administrators would come to the idiotic and dangerous conclusion that Miss Cox's actions were, in any way, even remotely wrong.
Idiotic for obvious reasons and dangerous because it sends the wrong message to teens who would otherwise be willing to intervene on behalf of a drunken friend in order to see to it that they arrive home safely.
This young woman should be praised and rewarded and utilized as an example of what should be done rather than what should not.
Miss Cox and her mother feel that she did the right thing, and I strongly agree.
I am hoping that the Ad Council, NHTSA, M.A.D.D. and S.A.D.D will step up and advocate for this kid and that the school will realize the err of their ways and make right what they did wrong to Miss Cox.
I also hope that the school will re-evaluate their "zero-tolerance" policy and make the necessary changes. These "zero-tolerance" policies seem to be doing more harm than good in many instances.
I pray that the young people of our country will always have the courage to do the right thing regardless of any potential consequences.
As adults and leaders, we don't always get things right; but as adults and leaders, we need to be able to admit when we are wrong and then conduct ourselves accordingly.
Kudos to you, Erin Cox. I have no doubt that you have a bright and prosperous future ahead of you.
As Saint Basil once said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."