10-Year-Old Girl Asks Police For Help With Homework, Gets Wrong Answer

When in trouble, call the cops.

A girl was struggling with her math homework, so she reached out to the people she thought could solve the problem. Last week, Lena Draper sent a message to the Marion, Ohio, Police Department’s Facebook page, asking for help with her fifth-grade assignment.


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At first, the 10-year-old received an automated response, but then Lt. B.J. Gruber – who handles the social media account – replied. “I need a little help with my homework,” Lena wrote from her mother’s Facebook profile.

“OK with what?” asked Gruber.

She shared the problem she’d been having difficulties with: “Well I don’t understand (8+29)x15.”

The police officer explained: “Do the numbers in the parenthesis first so in essence it would be 37 x 15.” Correct!


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But the girl then asked Gruber another difficult question. “Ok now if I had this (90+27) + (29+15) x 2. Which one would I do first?” He responded: “Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer times two. Work left to right doing the work inside the parenthesis first.” Unfortunately, incorrect!


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The police officer meant well, but he forgot about the helpful mnemonic device “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction). Still, it’s safe to say he deserves an A for effort.


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Molly Draper – Lena’s mom – posted the interaction on her Facebook page. Gruber says: “Hoping it is truly the thought that counts since apparently I cannot! Especially since the answer was wrong, it was very nice for Molly to acknowledge our attempt to help her daughter with some math homework.”

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