“Crossing Guard Day” at Mountain View Elementary School in Concord

March 10, 2011 10:44 am · 26 comments

Several of you emailed me yesterday, asking why kids were acting as crossing guards at Mountain View Elementary School in Concord on Thursday.

Well, here’s your answer! Mountain View Elementary Crossing Guard, John Hemm, sponsored “Crossing Guard Day” where several students became assistant crossing guards, complete with yellow vests and stop signs (put together by Mr. Hemm) as well as certificates.

I heard that fun was had by all and the lesson of looking both ways was learned.

Great job to John for putting this event together, you can never be too safe!

1 anonamom March 10, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Waaay back when my kids were in Elementary School at Holbrook, the Crossing guards were ALL 6th graders, working under the supervision on one adult volunteer who moved between the handful of intersections to “spot” them. Rain or shine, those kids did the job—-for free!

2 Constantly Changing March 10, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Thanks Mr. Mayor for giving us a story like this today. There’s been so much negative energy lately. What a great way to inspire the kiddies.

3 rich March 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM

It’s a long time ago but when I was in Junior High School, I along with other kids were the school crossing guards. The street in Indio Ca. was Hwy 111 – 4 lanes wide plus the turn lanes and we had no problems. No adult crossing guards just kids that volunteered. I suspect there are many others around that did the same thing…. Times have changed….

4 David Molstad March 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

I can remember (barely) when I was a crossing guard as a child. I think its good to have children doing this sort of thing. I was always supervised, as I am sure children would be now, a lot of good can come from things like this.

5 Rich March 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

When I was a student in Oakland at Horace Mann El back in the 50s, we had all student crossing guards. We marched as a group to Foothill Blvd and then crossed other students in the morning and afternoon. I don’t remember any adults being involved other then the initial training. There wasn’t any accidents or incidents resulting from having all student guards. But drivers were a lot more sane and respectful then. Those were the good old days.

6 Mt View Mama March 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

John’s the greatest! He’s always got a smile on his face and a spring to his step. I look forward to waving at him every morning when I drop off my daughter. :)

7 Lynne March 10, 2011 at 11:44 AM

yea John – my grandkids go to Mt View and he is the best crossing guard that school has ever had ——thank you – thank you – thank you

8 Holbrook Mom March 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Maybe they need to bring back the 6th grade crossing guards to the Holbrook neighborhood since we’re now going to have 400 kids crossing either Willow Pass or Port Chicago every morning and afternoon.

9 Babs March 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I have heard a great many nice things about Mr. Hemm. School must be thrilled to have him. I know GoGo likes him, too.

10 Proud of Mtn. View March 10, 2011 at 1:47 PM

We are thrilled to have John as our crossing guard! Even though he’s hired by the City, he’s defintely a member of the Mountain View family. He treats everyone with love and respect, and we are all lucky to have him.

11 anonamom March 10, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Holbrook Mom: Holbrook needs to become a “Charter” school for Pre-K through 6th.

They’d have a full house by Fall and draw the best of the best in Teachers!

12 john Hemm March 10, 2011 at 3:22 PM

A Big Thank you to everyone that has commented on this story! I am the luckiest man alive in Concord because of this job! Starting my day out with this in my life has made my life a very good one!

13 Chuck March 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Thank you John for making kids special. There are few people that can do that in this day and age. Yes, I too was a traffic crossing guard in elementary school. However in today’s world drivers are much more aggressive and I wouldn’t want the job. Thanks for giving of your time to make this a success. You are a special guy.

14 Rob Johnson March 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

At least these schools have crossing guards, no matter the age. Not all in Mt. Diablo school dist. have them. Most are funded, yet some have only volunteers.

15 Henry & Graciela Reynoso March 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

You truly are one special guy John, thank you for doing and being who you are. We are blessed to have you!
Henry & Graciela Reynoso

16 Jack Weir March 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM

I was a proud member of the Richmond Junior Traffic Patrol (RJTP) waaay back in the 1940’s. We wore snazzy red tunics, red caps with badge and white pistol belts. One afternoon a teenager “buzzed” our intersection, and I reported his license number – local scandal! The next morning his father brought the chastened penitent down to apologize. Glad to see the spirit of the Ancient and Honorable Traffic Patrol lives on in John and his squad!

17 Holbrook Mom March 10, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I think that is a GREAT idea. I would be first in line with my kids. Unfortunately, the mighty Gary Eberhart would never allow that. He made that very clear at Tuesday’s Board meeting.

18 just wondering March 10, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Why is there a crossing guard at Mt. View? I thought the district got rid of them all. We were told we couldn’t hire our own due to liability issues. Crossing Clayton Rd. Could sure use one.

19 anonamom March 10, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Holbrook Mom: Gary Eberhart has not yet been promoted to God status. That is just a figment of his imagination.

I cannot spearhead the movement, as I no longer have school aged children. But you can—the rest of the parents and teachers at Holbrook can!!!

I recommend getting a Charter School association involved on your behalf.

Staff are listed alphabetically: (Carlyn Obringer is the Concord Resident that ran for City Council)


EC Section 47605(b) specifies that a local educational agency shall not deny the approval of a charter petition unless it makes written factual findings, specific to the particular petition, that:

The charter school presents an unsound educational program.
The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition.
The petition does not contain the required number of signatures.
The petition does not contain an affirmation of each of the conditions described in EC Section 47605(d) (Outside Source).
The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of all of the 16 required elements of the petition.


Anyone may develop, circulate, and submit a petition to establish a charter school. EC Section 47605(a) (Outside Source) requires charter developers to collect signatures to indicate support for the petition. For a new charter school that is not a conversion of an existing public school, charter developers must obtain the signatures of either 50 percent of the teachers meaningfully interested in teaching at the school, or 50 percent of the parents of pupils expected to enroll at the school. For a charter school that is a conversion of an existing public school, the charter developer must collect the signatures of 50 percent of the teachers at the school to be converted. The petition must contain a prominent statement that a signature means that the person signing is meaningfully interested in teaching in, or in having his or her child(ren) attend the school.

Let me know if there is anything I can do (research etc.)from my home base.

20 Holbrook Mom March 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM

I would love to talk more about this in a non-public forum. I am going to send my email to the Mayor and ask him to send it to you privately.

21 Mommatotwo March 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM

John IS the best. He knows the kids and does a great job of letting the kids cross the street safely. People FLY thru the intersections by the school so its nice to know theres an adult there monitoring the streets. Im sure kids would do a good job and maybe they could becoming “honorary crossing guard” with John for a day for having good grades or attendance. Every school deserves crossing guards, not just Mountain View. If you dont work, maybe you could volunteer to do it ?! Its not Johns fault he gets paid ( not a lot !! ) to do it. Anyway, we are grateful to have him.

Thank you John for all your hard work.
Leah and Derek’s Mom : )

22 Maurine March 10, 2011 at 9:38 PM

John! What a great idea here! Love the little vests you made for the kids..
I know this job of making sure your kids are safe crossing the road to & from school is a very important one to you….I know you well enough to safely say even if this job paid 0 amount of dollars, you would still be there making sure the road is a safe one for the students of Mt. View Elem. School. It is a safe statement to say you are highly appreciated in the job you do…You go that extra mile with your kids & their moms & dads…Such as making these vests for these students..Involving the students on the importance of safety, by allowing them first hand experience of being a crossing guard….These are memories you have brought to them which they will carry with a smile for yrs., to come, just look at how many wonderful comments have come based on “their” memories of “crossing guard” days..I agree with the parents who have commented in re: to students doing the crossing guard duties..Todays’ world HAS changed..It is not the safe place for a student(s) as it used to be..Thank goodness there are adults such as yourself who take the lives of all our children serious enough to do something about it!
You are their hero, it’s easy to see how loved you are by all…Job well done John!

23 mom March 10, 2011 at 10:20 PM

John is more than a crossing guard at Mountain View, he is part of the family and is always will to pitch in whenever help is needed. We are very lucky someone so caring watch after our kids.

24 LLcatMom March 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Great job Mr Hemm!

Back in the 60’s in Chicago, once you hit 6th grade, you were eligible to be a crossing guard if you had all A’s. We were issued bright orange belts that had a part that went over your shoulder. Each kid was on duty for a week. There were enough A students that I only got to be a guard for only one or two weeks a year.

25 anon March 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM

@just wondering-
Who told you that you can’t hire one due to liability? I request everything like that in writing, with the policy clearly stated. Don’t take someone’s word for it.

26 Maurine March 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

John you are such a loveable sort!!! I thank God for you… As you touch so many ppls’ lives in such a positive & rewarding way.

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