I’m the crossing guard at Lincoln Trail and Potomac in Fairview Heights that a Sound-off caller was so unhappy about. Had he bothered to stop and ask, I’d have told him that the students crossing by themselves were high school students and I’m not supposed to cross them.
He hasn’t seen me almost run down by motorists (twice the day I wrote this letter) while crossing children. Nor has he seen me counseling children who imitate their older peers and some adults by jay walking and crossing against the lights.
I cross children in the freezing cold, the drenching rain, the baking heat, and when the roads are so slick that it’s difficult to walk upright.
I’ve shoveled paths in the snow on my own time so the students wouldn’t have to walk in the street. I arrive early and sometimes stay past my published departure time because I care about the children who use my intersection. Further, I’ve helped children who were being bullied, who had family issues or who just needed to talk.
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Yes, the position is paid. The real benefit, though, is knowing that I keep children safe can make a difference in their lives. Had the caller talked with me, I could have told him all of this.
Ignorance is a terrible thing.