No crossing guards in sight when students return to elementary school

It's unclear why there wasn't a crossing guard at Matilda Harris Elementary

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

KINGSLAND, Ga. - Camden County students were eager to get back in the classroom for their first day of school Friday. 

Parents dropped off and walked their children to school Friday morning, but one thing stood out: There were no crossing guards at Matilda Harris Elementary School in Kingsland.

"I really, really think they need one because it’s really hectic here in the morning time and especially in the evening time," said Crystal Cohen, who has two children who attend the elementary school.

Cohen said she's seen cars that don't want to stop and wait as kids and parents cross the street.

News4Jax saw a Camden County sheriff's deputy car sitting outside the school. News4Jax contacted the Camden County Sheriff's Office and it said it does not employ crossing guards.

The Camden County Schools Board of Education said it’s assisted by the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Kingsland and St. Marys police departments. 

When asked why there wasn’t a crossing guard at Matilda Harris Elementary on Friday morning for the first day of school, News4Jax didn’t get a direct answer.

Tammy Louis, who has grandchildren who attend the school, also noticed there was not a crossing guard.

"I would be rather concerned about that, too, considering I know a lot of children walk to school around here," Louis said.

A school board spokesperson sent the following statement:

"The safety of our students, staff and visitors is our first priority. The first day of school always gives us the opportunity to assess any needs related to protocol or logistics and make adjustments to ensure a safe and successful school year."

The spokesperson also said that, if law enforcement officers are called to respond to an emergency or are unable to assist, members of the school's staff are able to help out.

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