On Your Side
No more crossing guards at Meridian elementary schools?
Jennifer Auh reports on the Meridian School District's plan to remove most of the crossing guards near Meridian elementary schools. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Many elementary schools in Meridian, located near busy roads, do not have crossing guards anymore, according to school leaders. They told us they want to replace the crossing guards with safety buses.
Our viewers talked about some of the confusion concerning the change at Pioneer Elementary in Meridian. They called into our newsroom wanting to know, why the change?
The Meridian School District said they want to clear the air. "The school, I think is putting out information that Nov. 1st, those crossing guards are going to go away,” said Eric Exline, Meridian School District Spokesman, “On Nov. 2nd, if there are 10 kids that come to cross that road, we don't have a crossing guard, that's going to be a problem. So, we're not going to do it."
School leaders said they thought of using safety buses, instead of crossing guards, because of congestion problems in school parking lots.
School district workers believe buses are a safer solution, but parents at Pioneer Elementary are not on the same page about the issue.
“I don't really like the bus idea, crossing guards are a much better use of funds,” said Christina Bodily, a mother of two children at Pioneer Elem.
“What's going to happen to those kids that miss the bus, or want to ride their bus or scooters? We're really worried about those kids,” said Jo Fica, a school crossing guard.
Crossing guards also said they feel uneasy about the buses, because children can be stubborn. “They don't always listen. I actually have grandkids coming to this school. I'm afraid the kids will continue to walk,” said Carrie Miller, a school crossing guard.
However, according to school leaders, the bus plan already works at other schools. “Hunter Elem., Paramount Elem, and Chaparral Elem. is the another one, where we still have a couple of crossing guards left, but we’ve dwindled enough that we will be able to take their guards away,” said Exline.
The main reason this plan may not be working at Pioneer Elem. is because of its location. Many neighborhoods are really close the school, so it's much faster and more convenient for children to just walk home.
According to school leaders, parents do not need to worry. They said the crossing guards are not going anywhere, if students continue to cross the five-lane crosswalks near Pioneer Elementary.