A look at the District 51 Athletics alcohol policy

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO) Although District 51 has a zero tolerance alcohol policy, there is more wiggle room for athletes here than at a school in Massachusetts.

Erin Cox, a volleyball star at North Andover High School in Massachusetts, has gained national attention after she was stripped of her captain title and suspended from five games for being seen at a party. She had shown up right before police arrived to break up the party and police confirmed she was sober.

Cox would not have been punished if she had been at a school in District 51, said Paul Cain, District 51's athletic director.

"It was confirmed by police, was not drinking, was there to pick somebody up then under our code of conduct that individual would not be placed on a violation," said Cain.

All District 51 athletes must sign a code of conduct, which says they cannot possess, use or distribute alcohol. However, they can be around other minors with alcohol and help out friends in need without fear of reprimand.

"I would be there," said FMHS football and basketball team captain Matt Story. "I would hands down be there because I know our rules here and it's the right thing to do."

Story says he is thankful for District 51's policy.

"You're going to be with your friends. You know some people are going to come to the party that are not going to have the same principles and values as you do," Story said. "It shouldn't be your fault that you're taking the heat for other people that are around you."

District 51 representatives still recommend athletes exercise caution and don't end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"If you are picking someone up, have them meet you across the street or somewhere else so that you're not actually physically at the party," Cain recommended.

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