Crossing guard shortage concerns parents - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crossing guard shortage concerns parents

Every day hundreds of students from three Memphis City schools swarm Bellevue Boulevard in Midtown.

Most days there's only one crossing guard.

Parent Shirley Brooks says, "It scares me really, because I'm afraid some of the kids are going to get hurt.  You know I pick mine up every day."

But a lot of parent don't pick up their children.  The lone crossing guard keeps an eye on kids from Bruce Elementary, but students from Bellevue junior high are often left to dodge speeding traffic on their own.

Principal Kevin Malone says, "For me it is our biggest problem at this point, knock on wood.  It's just a problem every day."

Bellevue's principal told me teachers and parents patrol when they can, but they need help... Now.

Malone continues, "Sometimes we just don't have people that can come out here, so our kids are in danger."

The 153 crossing guards the school district uses actually work for the police department.
    
Department officials say they're working right now to recruit more.

Sgt. Vince Higgins with the Memphis Police Department says, "Dealing with kids on school corners is not as easy as it may seem on first blush."

So, there's training and background checks.
    
MPD says their goal is to hire more than 100 additional crossing guards as quickly as possible.

Higgins continues, "I can't think of any one thing more important than the safety of the children in Memphis."

Safety which parents and staff at Bellevue Junior High say will remain at risk until they get the help they need.

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