Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No Crossing Guard

I walked my kindergartner to school today like I do most days. There's only one street that she needs to cross and there is a crossing guard that mans the street. The speed limit on the street is only 25 but it is notorious for being broken by a large margin.

So we mothers have faith in these crossing guards don't we? I plan to, in a couple of years, let my daughter walk to school alone, and even walk her younger sister to school when she starts go too. So what are we supposed to be feeling when no crossing guard shows up for duty, like happened this morning?

I turned the corner and there was no crossing guard, no blinking lights, not even an officer taking her place. It was rush hour and cars were buzzing by at their usual over the limit speed barely looking twice at the hordes of kids trying to cross the street. And no, I'm not doing my typical exaggeration.

I was angry that whoever dropped the ball put so many children's lives' at risk. And that is not blowing it out of proportion people! A child could have easily been killed today because someone forgot to either 1) call in sick 2) pass along the message 3) arrive on time as replacement ...or whatever lame excuse they can come up with.

I called the police department and they told me that an officer was on his way (duh the freaking bell had already rung!) and by the time I had gotten back to the crosswalk, the officer still wasn't there and the crossing guard is usually still on duty when I walk back. do we have faith that our children's lives are important and that they are safe when we let them out of our doors. We trust in a system that supposedly is ensuring the safety of our most prized possessions only to muck up their job in the process. And do I let my daughter walk herself to school ever? Will this happen again? Do I want to find out the worst way possible? I need to know what happened to the crossing guard!

3 backward glances:

Principal Sal said...

I think you are right to be upset that there was not a crossing guard on duty. You did the right thing by contacting the police. You could also contact the school and they could send someone over to cover. Like you said, is this a one time situation? Will it ever happen again? My answer would be this situation, or in another. My answer would be to train your daughter to NEVER cross the street without the crossing guard. If she comes upon the street, and nobody is there, she should walk home to you. As a school administrator, the safety of students is the most important thing, and it is never too early to teach our children that their may be times when adults let them down, but they need to be taught to keep themselves safe!

Aislinn said...

YIKES - so scary, Amy. And you know what - your crosswalk wasn't the only place this happened at today! I was driving south on 89 in an area that has 2 school zones within a few hundred yards of each other. The first one was manned well - but the second didn't have the lights on - no crossing guard - nothing and I thought out loud "wonder where he is - there are kids out here!". There was an officer behind us - and he looked to be stopping - but it was still an eerie thought. You did the right thing to call the police! Scary for sure!

Amy said...

Good to know Aislinn! I've been talking to the police this evening about it and now I can tell them that it was several crosswalks in the same area. They didn't tell me there were problems with other crosswalks closeby. I can't believe it! But Principal Sal had some good advice about what to tell our children. I had that discussion with Natalie right away.