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By: Aarushi Dedhiya | PA SADD Student

Every day in elementary school, I saw this man wearing a bright yellow jacket and holding a miniature stop sign on the crosswalk. I always wondered: Why do so many people not know about this person who keeps all the walkers safe when walking to school? Just this one person helps make sure the 3 and 4 feet tall students reach school safely.

All cross guards deserve appreciation and respect from everyone in the community because they are just as crucial to the school as the teachers and administrative staff. Every day from 7 AM to 8 AM and 3 PM to 4 PM, this one cross guard takes his position on a 4-way road intersection. Whether the sun is shining or it is pouring heavily outside, the cross guard is always present and ready for his job.

Without cross guards, the entire school function will change; for instance, parents may be scared to send their children to school. Cross guards help make sure all the walkers are away from danger and do not get hurt while crossing busy streets (especially streets near the school). The cross guards have a strong passion for helping people. It takes a lot of effort and hard work to manage the traffic of a busy intersection while also keeping little elementary schoolers safe from the incoming cars/trucks.

However, cross guards also play a role in the atmosphere at the school because they tend to put a large smile on students’ faces. A simple “Good Morning” or a small conversation can boost someone’s day. Kindness is constantly spread from student to student and from students to the cross guards, making a much more friendly environment in the school. A bond/connection forms between this one adult and the little children carrying miniature backpacks.

Cross guards play a significant role in our community because they do more than protect people while crossing the road. They help encourage students and children to behave properly because it can be very dangerous for younger kids to cross the street alone. In addition, their job helps teach younger children about unlawful acts (like jaywalking or not looking at both sides before crossing). By being educated early on, younger students can utilize these helpful skills when they are on their own (and when they grow older).

People lack to understand what roles crossing guards play in our schools, but there are cross guards found all over the country. In a school in Tallahassee, Florida, a cross guard named Mr. Bob has impacted so many people in the community. Mr. Bob’s charismatic personality never goes unnoticed; as he holds the red and white stop sign, he joyfully greets everyone who crosses the road. The connectedness of Mr. Bob and the people displays how valuable crossing guards are to the school community, and it shows how Mr. Bob is a valuable member of the school. Despite the large amount of traffic on the road, Mr. Bob knows how to direct the traffic and ensure all the kids and parents are safe.

In another school in Charleston, South Carolina, a crossing guard named Mr. Mikell shows the same kindness toward all people and the same determination to protect everyone that crosses the road. Mr. Mikell even says that there is a strong bond present with the children that pass by and that he would protect them “as if they were his own kids.” Parents acknowledge how they would not feel safe sending their children to school if Mr. Mikell was not there. Cross guards help ensure trust and protection on the school campus.

No matter the state or school, cross guards always do their job with their full potential and passion. Both Mr. Bob and Mr. Mikell have the same enthusiastic personality and the goal of protecting the little ones and parents, which helps create a tight bond in the community and make sure everyone is protected at all times when crossing the street.

Cross guards are unacknowledged heroes. For the love and protection of children, these crossing guards continue to show up every day. Collectively, everyone knows that they are truly the protectors of the community.

A special thanks to our friends at NRSF for helping SADD Nation make this the #SafestSummerEver!

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