Doing the right thing

MARTINS FERRY – Brianna Parsons, 7, received a Citizenship Award from the Martins Ferry Police Lodge No. 78 for her outstanding student citizenship.

Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland presented the award to Parsons on Friday at her elementary school. Parsons received this award for turning in money that she found on the school bus.

Parsons, a first grader at Anna Marie Ayers Elementary School, was riding the bus when she discovered a $100 bill.

While other students on the bus told Parsons that she should keep the money, she stood tall and did the right thing, turning the money over to the bus driver.

“I am very proud of my daughter, she is a very good girl,” said Ashley Parsons, Brianna’s mother, who has instilled in her daughter to always do the right thing.

Parson’s mother is not the only who is proud of her. Many of the faculty and staff sang Brianna’s praises, including principal Jim Fogle.

“We don’t always hear about the good things people do and this is something that is really special,” said Fogle. “I’m very proud of her and I know her mom is very proud of her and the whole school. We really appreciate Chief McFarland for recognizing the good deed that she did.”

McFarland first learned of this event from his wife, who is also a school teacher at Ayers Elementary School.

“Every call that (the Martins Ferry Police Department) gets is always complaining about someone or for someone doing something bad,” said McFarland, who is taking a new approach. “I want citizens to call when they see a child doing something good and hopefully we can recognize the kids and the community when they do something for somebody and we at the police department think that’s great and we want to award these kids for something positive.”

This is something new that McFarland hopes will catch on. Parsons is the first child to receive this award and hopefully not the last. Through this new program, McFarland hopes to encounter more children, families and citizens in the community in a positive situation, rather than in a negative one.

“This is a new program that we would like to start. If a citizen in town or even outside of town, sees a child doing something positive for the community, call and let me know personally We would like to recognize (that child) with a reward.”

With this program, McFarland wants to teach children to be responsible and to do the right thing.

Van Dyne may be reached at