PARKERSBURG, W. Va. (WTAP)- On Monday, dozens gathered at the Parkersburg Police Department for school crossing-guard training just in time for the start of school on Aug. 16.
With help from AAA and the police department, those in attendance were taught how to safely enter roadways to stop traffic, identify the dangers while interacting with traffic and realize the large amount of responsibility in protecting school-age children.
“A crossing guard's job is to basically try and make a safety gap so that students can cross the streets safely," says J.J. Miller, safety adviser for AAA. "And the job is to get them from one side of the street to the other side of the street as safely as they possibly can. It’s a big job for them. They are going to be wearing florescent vests so that they are very visible to motoring public and also with stop signs.”
Advisers like Miller explained procedures of what every adult school-crossing guard should know. He spoke to newcomers and guards who have been doing this for years.
“We have a few crossing guards that have been on the force for over 15 years. They are dedicated and they are committed. And what we like to do at AAA is we like to say, it takes a village to get the children to school safely. And we need the community’s support to know that the crossing guards are out there doing their job and motorists to pay special attention when school is starting in a couple of days.”
Even though the crossing guards’ job is to protect, interacting with the children and seeing their smiles on their face is just an added bonus.
Crossing guard Sonny Dean of Parkersburg has always enjoyed helping the kids.
“The lady that was in charge then called me up and wanted to know if i would take it," says. " And i said 'sure.' So, i really enjoy it. I love the kids. A lot of them will be waving at me on the buses and, you know, just talk. And you just really enjoy it.”
So the next time you are driving near a school remember to slow down and pay attention.
“The law is there to protect everybody, both the pedestrian and motorist. So please pay attention, there’s special cargo going back and forth from school.”