Officer praised for kind gesture

When St. John Parish Deputy Christopher Toups saw a video of Skyla Lawrence receiving news that she’d been named her district’s Student of the Year and asking her mother for Subway as her reward, he knew what to do.

“I just started laughing and went to Subway to get her a $100 card,” said the Destrehan resident.

Toups had seen the video Skyla’s mother posted on her Facebook page showing her breaking the news to her daughter about being named one of St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools’ Students of the Year.

The eighth-grader was shocked over receiving the honor, and immediately requested Subway – over homemade sandwiches for lunch – as her reward.

Lawrence did not expect the response to the video, however.

When Toups saw it, he was touched by her request and amused over her expressions while making it. He got the Subway gift card and went to her house, which worried Lawrence when she saw a policeman at her door.

“My initial reaction was that I did something bad and I was going to be arrested,” she said. “I had no clue what it was. He gave me a hug and gave me the card. I almost started crying because no one had ever done something that nice for me.”

For Toups, the gift also represented his desire to give back.

Skyla Lawrence

“That’s the reason I became a cop … to see kids succeed and be safe as they’re growing up,” he said.

A deputy with St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office for five years, he wanted to give others the same opportunity he’d had of growing up in a safe place. His safe place has been Destrehan.

“I also did it for her achievement winning district,” Toups said. “And now she goes on to see if she can win state.”

Lawrence is certainly appreciative of the gift, too.

“I begged him (her father) for Subway instead of a homemade sandwich,” she said of her reward for her honor. “It’s my favorite fast food.”



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