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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Weatherly Heights Elementary parents respond to notice of school crossing guard being removed

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Parents at one school are concerned for their children’s safety, after finding out they will no longer have a traffic guard to help them cross a busy road.

The principal at Weatherly Heights Elementary School notified parents on November 16 that starting November 27, a crossing guard will not be positioned at Weatherly Road and Canstatt Drive.

“We almost got hit this morning with the police officer standing right there with us with his safety vest on. What’s gonna happen when someone’s not there?” Courtney Jeffreys, a parent of a student at Weatherly Heights Elementary, said.

The Huntsville Police Department’s (HPD) Special Operations Unit staffs what it calls ‘safety patrol aides’ for the Huntsville City Schools district. HPD blamed manpower shortages for the change.

The department said it spent Thursday and Friday students how to use pedestrian assist buttons at the intersection.

“The safety of our kids is the number one priority and that should be the number one priority for the police for the school for everybody and it’s really only an hour out of their day that they would have to commit to protecting our children and I don’t see why that’s not important,” parent Rachael Campbell said.

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Courtney Jeffreys serves on the school’s PTA. She says the principal tried to convince the police department to rearrange its resources.

“There’s another crossing guard on the other side of the school in a neighborhood street,” Jefferys said. “She did try to speak with HPD about switching crossing guards, letting one be here because it is a main intersection that people come through and was told no that it was not possible due to safety concerns. So it’s a little confusing.”

Huntsville Police say only about 10 students per day use that crosswalk. Huntsville police are urging people to consider applying for one of these positions. They call it a great part-time opportunity for parents, grandparents, retirees and community members who are interested in the safety of our children.

You can find a link to the crossing guard job posting here.

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