Parents not helping kids be safe as school opens

(Photo by Ken Jefferson)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first day of school had the potential to be tragic for several students at one Jacksonville elementary school.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson, who was outside Arlington Elementary early Monday morning, said he witnessed parents letting their kids walk across busy University Boulevard in areas that don't have designated crosswalks.

"She's walking in the turn lane right there, which is very dangerous because a car can blindly not see her and put her in danger," Jefferson said.

He said he saw the same scene play out over and over again in front of the school. One woman walked three kids across the street where there was no crosswalk, losing sight of the third and allowing them all to cross the northbound lanes alone.

"You cannot allow your child to cross in the middle of the street," Jefferson said. "First of all, it's jaywalking. Also, you're putting your child in danger, and if a driver is not paying attention, they are trying to cross four lanes, actually five lanes of traffic."

Jefferson said it's disappointing to see, knowing that students have been hit along that road in the past.

"Last year towards the end of the school year, one boy was trying to cross the street and he didn't get hit once, he got hit three times," said Olivia Almon, who lives off University.

Jefferson took pictures of parents and students in front of the school, and at one point he said he witnessed a near accident. He said he tried to talk to the father, who showed very little concern.

"I confronted a guy who had a bad attitude," Jefferson said. "He said he didn't have the time to walk and cross the daughter the proper way. That's sending the wrong message to that child."

Jefferson said parents have to put their child's safety above anything else.

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