JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Parents whose children attend a Westside school are concerned about student safety on the walk to and from class. They told News4JAX it's because there is no crossing guard to help them cross busy streets.
For children heading to Westview K-8 off 103rd Street, they only have a regular stop light to help them get to the north side of Connie Jean Road. Parents said there is a crossing guard in the afternoon, but not the morning.
However, in response, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it does not have enough guards to staff every school. Currently there are six open positions to fill in Duval County.
One father, Jeremy Warren, said he he walks his children to school everyday but notes it's a dangerous situation without a crossing guard.
"It's going to happen. As they are taking lefts out of this place, even though they dropped off their own babies, they turn left but don't hold for us at all," said Warren.
News4JAX put the stop light to test, finding the light gave kids 32 seconds to cross the road. Parents said that, without a cross guard to move them along, that isn't enough time for the kids to get safely across.
There are signs for the school zone on 103rd street, but unlike some other school zones in Duval County, there are no flashing lights to warn people to slow down during school crossing hours.
"My kid has been going here for three years and this is the first year they don't have the crossing guard," said a parent named Jessica. "It is very busy and when we are crossing, some of the cars don't stop. Something needs to be done."
According to the Jacksonville's Sheriff's Office, it is working to fill the vacancy. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said the school resource officer covers part of the shift at Westview.
A spokesperson for the school district said in a statement that the district and Westview K-8 administrators are working closely with JSO to make sure the problem is solved.
If you are interested in being a crossing guard, the open locations are at:
- Thomas Jefferson
- Westview K-8
- Bartram Springs
- Twin Lakes Academy
- Woodland Acres
School crossing guards work for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon for a maximum of 10 hours per week at a rate of $9.56 an hour.
For more information about School Crossing Guard positions, contact the Sheriff's Office Community Affairs Division at (904) 630-2160.