Editorial: Not the right thing, but not a bad thing, eitherThere seem to be some mixed feeling about the young student who stumbled upon $17,000 in a Farmington ditch last week. And maybe that's as it should be. Because at the most basic level, the student did not do the right thing.
There seem to be some mixed feeling about the young student who stumbled upon $17,000 in a Farmington ditch last week. And maybe that's as it should be. Because at the most basic level, the student did not do the right thing.
Still, it's hard to find too much fault with the path the kid chose.
There's no question the teenager in question should have immediately turned over to police the money and the gallon-size bags of marijuana he found along 195th Street. It wouldn't have taken much. The police station was just a little farther down the street. It was on his way. And as Dakota County chief deputy Dave Bellows said last week, a discovery like the one that kid made March 10 usually has a story attached. In this case, the story appears to involve a man growing marijuana in his Farmington home. And while it appears police ultimately got their man the money and drugs could have provided an important piece of the puzzle.
And if the money hadn't proved to be ill-gotten? The bag also contained a personal check. It would have been relatively easy for police to track down an individual who would no doubt have been thrilled to see his or her lost cash.
So, no. The kid did not do the right thing. But it seems just as clear he did a pretty good thing. This, after all, is a kid who could have turned his bike around and headed for Best Buy or Target. He could have stashed the money under his mattress and never had to worry again about getting an allowance. But he didn't. He went to school. And he started handing the money out.
It appears the boy used at least some of the money to buy things from friends or classmates. But he also passed it out to people he thought could use it. He gave $1,200 to a bus aide who he knew could use a little help. According to people who know him, that's just the kind of kid he is. If he's got ability to make other people's lives a little easier, he'll do it.
The action might not have been strictly right. But it's hard to argue with the thought behind it.