Standing guard for children’s safetyWhen Mark McGillis was growing up in Superior, he took for granted the adult crossing guard who helped him cross the street to school each day. Today, the Superior Police Department traffic sergeant knows the work these guards do is critical.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
When Mark McGillis was growing up in Superior, he took for granted the adult crossing guard who helped him cross the street to school each day. Today, the Superior Police Department traffic sergeant knows the work these guards do is critical.
“We’d like to publicly thank them for the service they do for our community and our children,” McGillis said.
Crossing guards keep kids safe, said Superior School District Superintendent Janna Stevens. They help children ages 5-10, many a scant 3 feet tall, cross nine busy intersections throughout the city. With their bright orange coats and stop signs, the crossing guards brave all kinds of weather as well as busy traffic to get the job done.
“They’re the kind of people who are compassionate; they care,” Stevens said. “They want to give back to the community.”
Now is the perfect time to thank them. Jan. 9-13 is Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week in Wisconsin. The Superior Police Department and school district will hold a special lunch for the guards who stand watch in Superior every school day. Drivers, parents and kids can also share their appreciation.
“I would say stop, give them a friendly wave for what they do to take care of the kids in the community,” Stevens said.
Helping Cathedral School students cross Belknap Street is more than a job for Liz Davidson.
“I enjoy every minute of what I do,” she said. Davidson is one of 11 adult school crossing guards in Superior. She works from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 2:40-3:50 p.m. every school day. Davidson began the job five years ago and was soon getting cards and gifts from students and parents. One girl gave her a “darling” ornament for her tree this year.
“Everybody’s nice to me,” Davidson said.
Not all drivers pay attention to her sign, however. According to McGillis, failure to yield to an adult school crossing guard carries a fine of $187.90 and three points for the first violation; $238.30 and three points for the second. Those citations are handed out “quite frequently,” McGillis said. In addition, he said, drivers should remember that the speed limit in school zones is 15 mph when children are present.
“These little ones are important,” Davidson said. She encouraged drivers to stop when they see a crossing guard’s sign.
“If I was crossing their children, their family,” she said, they would want others to do the same.