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Ohio officer responds to child's Facebook message about help with math homework

A fifth grader stumped by her math homework turned to the local police department. They answered that call the same way they'd answer any other.

MARION, Ohio (WBNS-TV) - A central Ohio police officer answered the call for help, but it wasn't what you'd think.

It was a Facebook post, from a child.

Molly Draper didn’t know what her fifth-grade daughter, Lena Rowe, was up to Friday.

“I think this time she was almost trying to avoid doing her homework,” Draper told our sister station WBNS-TV.

But that's because Lena couldn't figure it out. So she turned to social media, but not to socialize.

Lena was stumped by a math problem. She went to the Marion Police Department’s Facebook page and asked for help. To her surprise, she was answered.

“I was shocked when they did, I thought maybe they’d just say, 'ask your parents,'” Rowe said.

Lt. B.J. Gruber received the message. To him, it was just another way to interact with a kid in the community.

“We’re really about humanizing our police officers, just letting them know that we are dads,” Lt. Gruber said. “And we understand the difficulty and the struggles that they go through.”

So Lt. Gruber walked Rowe through problem one. But problem two stumped even him.

“The punchline to all of this is, I messed up on the second equation and got a little in over my head,” Gruber said.

But this isn't about being right or wrong.

“Thank you for helping the community and doing the math,” Rowe said.

To mom, it's knowing she taught her daughter who is there to protect her.

“If there’s anything bigger, she’ll know that the relationship has been established, she trusts them,” Draper said.

“We’re connected with kids in our communities and you feel safe enough and comfortable enough asking us for help,” Lt. Gruber said.