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Third graders find, return missing cash

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By Meaghan Downs

When Robert B. Turner Elementary Principal Wayne Reese called last Tuesday, Chasidy Hawkins thought one of two things had happened to her son Tyler.
One: Tyler had gotten sick, possibly with the flu.
Two: Tyler had gotten in a fight with a female classmate.
Contrary to Chasidy’s fears, the prinicipal had news about Tyler that would make Chasidy’s day, he said.
And it did.
Tyler, 9, and classmate Lakesha Gerow, 8, had asked their teacher to be excused to go to the restroom.
When they came out into the hallway, Tyler and Lakesha spotted about $210 in cash on the floor.
The third graders said it was the most money they’d ever seen just lying there.
“There was a $20 bill here, a $100 bill there,” Lakesha said.
According to Tyler, he told Lakesha that they needed to bring the money to the office right away much to the relief of the Turner parent who came back to the school once she discovered the cash was missing.
“When he told me what Tyler had done, it was no shock to me,” Chasidy said in a phone interview last week. “I was proud, but I expect nothing less of Tyler.”
Although Tyler and Lakesha did not receive a reward for their good deed, Principal Wayne Reese did enter them in the Turner Pops drawing — which distributes gift certificates from local businesses to deserving students — and gave them each a notebook, a gel pen and a pencil.
Tyler and Lakesha said they weren’t expecting any kind of reward, let alone finding the money.  
Both students knew Principal Reese called their parents about what they had done. Lakesha said she even asked her mother, Carrie, if she got a phone call from the principal earlier that day; Carrie pretended at first that she didn’t.
“She was actually very proud of me, so was my dad,” Lakesha said.
“[Tyler] went home and told his grandparents, and great-grandparents,” Chasidy said. “We made a big deal out of it for him to realize what a big deal it was for the parent.”
Chasidy said Tyler’s dad, Glenn Hawkins, teased him for not spending the money on himself. Tyler has been saving up for a golf cart to use on the family’s farm, Chasidy said.
But she’s glad Tyler learned an important lesson in returning the money to its proper owner, that “being honest is always the best thing to do,” she said.
“It made us feel kind of good,” Tyler said. “We were just like, wow.”
Tyler Hawkins is the son of Chasidy and Glenn Hawkins of Lawrenceburg.
Lakesha Gerow is the daughter of Carrie and Mike Gerow of Lawrenceburg.