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Student makes honesty his policy

Josh Rodgers finds a wallet. His only thought? Turn it in. After more than one such incident, his school honors him.

By MATHEW WASSERMAN
Published September 8, 2005


SPRING HILL - For some, honesty is second nature, the only choice. But when school officials see the same person demonstrating his honesty again and again, they believe it deserves recognition.

Josh Rodgers, 13, an eighth-grader at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, has been recognized several times for doing the right thing.

Recently, Josh did something that administrators at Challenger found so upstanding that they decided to give him an honor certificate.

"I was changing in the locker room and I saw a wallet on the ground, so I just gave it to the coach," said Josh.

What makes the story better is that Josh didn't even look in the wallet to see whether there was money in it.

"It wasn't mine, so why would I look through it?" said Josh. "I'm just an honest person."

When the coach returned the wallet to its owner, the person thanked Josh for returning the wallet, which had $70 still inside.

"When he mentioned it to me, it didn't even sound like there was another option," said Josh's mother, Lisa Rodgers. "It's good to know that the character development they teach in schools stuck with him."

This was not the first Josh did a good deed at school. When he was in fourth grade he went to throw something out in a trash bin and saw $4 lying there. Instead of pocketing the money, he brought it to the assistant principal, who rewarded him with a plaque and threw him and a few other students a good character ice cream party.

"People work hard for their money," said Josh. "How would you feel if someone found and took the money that you worked hard for?"

Other than returning money, a different day last week, Josh found a watch in the locker room and gave it the coach to find its owner.

"He's really just a good kid," said Lisa. "I'm proud of him."