What Happened to All the School Crossing Guards in Concord?

September 2, 2014 · 66 comments

school

Some of you might have noticed that many schools around Concord are missing crossing guards this year.

Lt. Bill Roche with the Concord Police Department tells us why schools throughout the Mount Diablo Unified School District are going without this important safety feature….

Since the mid-1990’s the City of Concord has been contracting crossing guard services. As of 2012, the city was supporting 10 locations across the City at a cost of $90,000.

Based on the downturn of the economy, the City recommended shifting the responsibility of crossing guards to the school district as well as school/parental volunteers (should the school district not continue the contract with the crossing guard company).

In 2012 the Council authorized the elimination of the crossing guard program over the course of two years. Five locations were eliminated at the end of the 2012/2013 school year and the remainder were eliminated at the end 2013/2014 school year.

Since that time, the Police Department has been offering a crossing guard training program for interested schools. In addition to the officer conducting on-site training at the school, the department has also provides crossing guard equipment which includes stop signs, reflective vests and whistles. The program is presented in both English and Spanish.

Staff personally reached out (and continue to reach out) to each impacted school several times over the course of the past few years to school administrators advocating the program as well as providing assistance in developing traffic flow strategies.

Schools such as Ayers, Meadow Homes, Cambridge and Ygnacio Valley Elementary have taken part in the program. Woodside Elementary has also contacted the department this school year to participate in the program.

Thanks to Lt. Roche for the information.

Claycordians, is your school without a crossing guard? If so, please reach out to your school, and have them contact the Concord Police Department in order to take advantage of their offer to help train anybody who wishes to volunteer.

1 Skyscraper September 2, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I remember when the school crossing guards were STUDENT volunteers, at least in front of the school.

2 Priorities September 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

CA has endless money (make that “bond debt revenue”) for all kinds of fanciful schemes. Unfortunately “human being safety” is not a priority.

3 Momo September 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM

When I was in elementary school kids in fifth grade were the crossing guards. I went to Concord elementary which is now where Olympic high is. It was an honor to be picked to be in the program. I don’t think drivers were as crazy back then though… Drivers actually obeyed traffic laws. I remember I loved it when it was raining because we got to put on these huge yellow rubber rain coats and rain boots. It would be too dangerous today to let kids be crossing guards. What a shame…

4 mosquito burrito September 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM

waste of money. kids don’t need crossing guards. if they can’t bother to look both ways before crossing, it’s time to eliminate them from the gene pool. kids are ANETHEMA to society anyway. I hate kids.

5 Buster September 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Less and less kids walk to school due to unsafe routes to school.
This results in 2 round trips per day for parents. More traffic with parents on their cell phone and speeding makes the routes unsafer yet.

6 mwo1859 September 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I am so glad to see they have people who speak different languages doing X-Guarding. Go and stop is so hard in different languages. Isn’t there a junior police program out there. Young wannabe cops. That should be part of there training.

7 Dr. Jellyfinger® September 2, 2014 at 9:14 AM

I figured they all went to the convention.

8 nytemuvr September 2, 2014 at 9:18 AM

I retired in ’67 from Meadow Homes after 2 years of service (5th and 6th grade), no retirement perks.

9 Justin September 2, 2014 at 9:20 AM

@Skyscraper

AAA Safety Patrols, I believe? I was one. Had a cool sash and badge.

10 Mortimer September 2, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Put the students back out as volunteer crossing guards…Great way to teach responsibility….

11 Wellgeez September 2, 2014 at 9:28 AM

What about adding stop signs?

12 MadMom September 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Our parent club pays for our crossing guards. We also depend on parent volunteers. It gets more and more dangerous each uear

13 Silva September 2, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Yes, there are no crossing guards acompaning elementary school students crossing the very busy Clayton Road at Ayers.

14 Dr. Doc PhD September 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

“In 2012 the Council authorized the elimination of the crossing guard program over the course of two years. Five locations were eliminated at the end of the 2012/2013 school year and the remainder were eliminated at the end 2013/2014 school year.”

A BIG THANKS TO THE CONCORD CITY COUNCIL ! It’s a great way to show your support for the safety and welfare of the children.

15 Sick Of It September 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM

The roads are crap, the courts and jails don’t have money to serve justice to the community, I could go on and on, but now school crossing guards are cut to save money? Money for what? Where in the heel is all the money going?

16 Jp September 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Long explanation for what is a very short answer: budget cuts

17 Sad September 2, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Here’s a perfect example of Ron Leone on the City Council. Wasn’t he a principal at one time? They don’t have money for our schools but they can make sure their making a nice salary, and benefits.

18 Sick Of It September 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM

I was a Crossing Guard at my Concord Elementary School but I don’t think the kids today are capable of responsibility like we were. We got ourselves up, got dressed, made breakfast and walked or rode bicycles to school. The pampered little pansies of today………………….I’ll leave it right there.

So NO to having the kids control traffic when they cannot even watch where they walk let alone pay attention to anything that doesn’t interest them 100%.

19 Psycho Cat September 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM

No crossing guard on Willow Pass Rd. and Ashdale, one block away from Landana. No guard on Landana at Larkspur either. Both for Monte Gardens Elementary kids crossing. Willow Pass is dangerous.

20 aka September 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

There has not been a crossing guard near Silverwood in 4 years.

21 CoCoOld September 2, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Ah, yes, I well remember 5th and 6th grade and being a crossing guard. Got to miss class and help the younger kids at the same time. Also we got a free pass to the Saturday matinee at the movie theater. Worth $.50 each Saturday. Sadly there is no way I would put students out there now. Too many crazies. As a parent crossing guard volunteer at my kids’ elementary school I was “bumped” by an irate parent and actually assaulted by a crazed mother who didn’t like being asked (politely) to stop parking in the red zone. Too bad for that woman that there were several off-duty cops picking up their kids who witnessed the assault, ran her license, did a “knock and talk” and scared the snot out of her. She cold-cocked me in the crosswalk! (The saddest part was all the other parents who wondered why I didn’t hit her back with my ginormous stop sign.) Not a good volunteer opportunity for children anymore.

22 aka September 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM

I think there should be a few in front of CVCHS on Alberta way. It would help with traffic. Someone is bound to get hurt there. Many of those kids walk across the streets without looking.

23 Nuttsie the Nutter September 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

The power rests with the money. Lifetime benefits and high salaries at the expense of the peon children. Those kids are not entitled to crossing guards. They need to get out and police the streets themselves. Lazy kids. Gosh, what party does that sound like?

24 Anon 2 September 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

There are responsible kids but it is too dangerous to have them do it these days. Too many distracted parents who are in a hurry.

25 Anonymous September 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

There is still one by our elementary school in Pleasant Hill. I guess that means the city of Pleasant Hill continues to pay for it? I know our parent association does not. They are definitely needed. People fly down the street in front of our school.

26 mosquito burrito September 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

“Less and less kids walk to school due to unsafe routes to school.”

LOL! In my day we used to walk in the street when the sidewalks didn’t exist or weren’t shoveled. Kids are too pampered these days. They need to learn responsibility.

Kids are ANATHEMA to society.

I love how all these breeders are whining about no cross guards here. They are the same ones who will complain when Concord raises the sales tax. I hate breeders. You are disgusting. Move to Berkeley or the Rockridge section of Oakland. Concord is for adults only, not kids and not breeders (parents who have sex).

27 @sick of it September 2, 2014 at 10:59 AM

That’s what I wonder. Even with property values down we still paid a ton of taxes and now they’re back up and we’re paying a fortune. Where does it all go? How can they not provide basic services to my family for these amounts of money?

28 @mosquito burrito September 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

“Kids are anathema to society.”

Kids (ARE) future “society.”
When you and the kids are all gone, problems solved.
No more society. (The final solution!)

29 @29 September 2, 2014 at 11:16 AM

It goes to new white picket fences!

30 Sherry Whitmarsh September 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I’ve heard several stories from parents who are taking on this responsibility at their neighborhood schools. There is no way that I would want to subject a 5th grader to the threats and language made byparents and community members.

31 CoCoOld September 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

@mosquitoburrito,
Too bad your parents didn’t subscribe to your philosophy.

Why don’t YOU move to Rossmoor?

32 Concord pd September 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Just make the police do it for an hour out of there day. There job is to protect and serve. And you’ll have people driving safer with a cop on site

33 The Mamba September 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Always cutting from the kids, they can’t vote…

34 NowMoreThanEver September 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Now more than ever, I would say that having school crossing guards is a priority. With the way that people are driving and not paying attention, we really need to have crossing guards for all schools to make sure kids can get across streets safely. Since many drivers don’t seem to care about the law, pedestrians, bikes, posted speed limits, etc, I would also say that having speed bumps in most residential areas would be a big help as well.

35 mosquito burrito September 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

@CoCoOld:

I am way too young to move to Rossmoor. LOL. Maybe if kids were more mature, I would be more tolerant of them. By “mature”, I mean act like adults. Babies are not to cry. I didn’t cry as a baby. But until then, I will not shed a tear for any one that dies, falls victim to a sexual molester, etc.

36 mosquito burrito September 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Stop pampering these kids. Why do they need a crossing guard? Are they not mature enough to handle traffic? When I was in first grade in the 70’s, I had to cross 4 lanes of 45 mph traffic by myself. No one ever helped me. Sometimes I waited 10 minutes for a safe opportunity to cross. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I had to deal, so too do these kids now. Make them suffer!

37 jtkatec September 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Hey, wasn’t that .05% sale tax increase for the City of Concord, which was voted and which they want to extend, supposed to keep essential services?

Who’s crying wolf?

Oh, my, we don’t have funds for crossing guards, but if you vote back in the sales tax increase, we “might” be able to allocate some of those funds…..

38 mika September 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Being the schools are responsible gor kids until they arrive home, seems it would be a lot cheaper to spend the $90k than fight a lawsuit!

39 Sambo September 2, 2014 at 12:51 PM

They all got ran over!

40 @37 September 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

You have a serious psychological problem. Please get help. Learn to vent your rage some other way than to target people/children who have never harmed you. This reminds me of mass murders or murder-suicides where the perp could have just offed himself (his choice), but no: he had to take a lot of other random victims with him.

41 Scooter September 2, 2014 at 1:02 PM

I hope all of the posters on here have figured out that mosquito burrito is just a troll looking for a response. More than likely a little 7th grade girl that has no friends and needs something, anything, to make her feel important.

42 CoCoOld September 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Scooter,
That’s kind of an insult to the intellectual capabilities of a 7th grade girl.

43 Claycordian September 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

We have to pay for Leone’s lifetime medical somehow……. But, on the backs of school kid safety?

44 mwo1859 September 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Our kids are the new version of Frogger. That is right we are bringing back the 80’s.

45 Kristi Buchholz September 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I am one of the volunteer crossing guards at Ayers. The majority of parents are considerate, safe drivers while dropping off and picking up at school. Unfortunately, there are a handful who make very poor choices. They park in red zones, drop off or pick up their kids in the middle of the street, or fly right through the crosswalk while I am standing in it. For these reasons, I would never want a child acting as crossing guard, it is just too much responsibility for a child.

It was quite an ordeal to get the volunteer crossing guard program going in Concord. MDUSD would not allow school employees to be crossing guards (our PTA used to reimburse the district for one of our noon supervisors doing it). MDUSD also did not want parent volunteers doing it, afraid of the liability. The city of Concord was hesitant, as vehicle code does not allow anyone other than a police officer to direct traffic. After writing many letters to the City Council, Concord PD, MDUSD administrators, School Board Members, the media, and even to Claycord, it finally got worked out, and the volunteer crossing guard program began at Ayers during the 2012/2013 school year.
As it is a volunteer program, there are times when no crossing guard is present, and more volunteers are needed. All schools could benefit from increased police presence as well.
I strongly encourage everyone who is concerned about this to be part of the solution, volunteer at your school! The training program put on by CPD is excellent, and only takes about an hour.

46 Shelly September 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Claycordian #45, If we don’t re-elect Leone we won’t have to pay for his lifetime benefits!

47 SKS September 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

…. I smell a parcel tax.

48 Mamatosix September 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Ironically the traffic actually moves better without the crossing guard at Pine Hollow and Pennsylvania.

49 M. September 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Those volunteer crossing guards are scary. This one in particular in my neighborhood can’t seem to hold a sign upright without waving it around limpwristedly, and can’t seem to grasp the concept that you have to time the crossings…YOU CAN’T JUST STOP ALL CARS GOING ALL DIRECTIONS ALL THE TIME.

50 Scooter September 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

CoCoOld

I didn’t think of it that way, but I certainly do agree.

51 Unthinkable September 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM

As NowMoreThanEver has pointed out, the streets are full of distracted, stressed out and uncaring drivers, many in oversized vehicles (think soccer mom juggling a Starbucks and talking on her phone while driving a Yukon). This is a disaster waiting to happen and if my daughter was still walking to school, I’d be outraged. I believe it’s the duty of the adults in the community to pull together and figure out a way to have a trained, responsible adult present at high-risk traffic areas near schools. Nobody wants to take responsibility – the city, county, school district, schools – so it’ll be the kids who suffer when accidents start to happen. I hope our heads aren’t so far up our rears that we can’t see it coming.

52 Cuzzzzzzz...... September 2, 2014 at 8:54 PM

How about senior/retiree volunteers or the CPD VIPs????? There is no way the city should pay for crossing guards. That is a MSUSD issue and the MDUSD should pay for them if they insist upon having paid guards.

53 Tom September 2, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Crossing Guards are a necessity. It should be a responsible adult, paid or volunteer. Especially if they’re crossing a busy street.

Kids are too young to guard other kids. They’ll dart out in front of traffic because they feel like it. They’re kids!

54 EF September 2, 2014 at 10:01 PM

No crossing guards on Pine Hollow with two schools within a block. Parents running late have been running the stop sign since school started. Impatient drivers rushing through the crosswalk before kids are even half way through. The kids are actually paying more attention than most of the driving adults. I understand that there can be significant personal liability as a volunteer crossing guard. That was referenced above. Can someone elaborate?

55 Terry Kremin September 2, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Still don’t understand why these are not VIPS (The police department volunteers) assignments. Not actual officers, but having the uniforms does actually help slow/stop people.

But then the city would have to actually want to work WITH the schools instead of trying to make money off of them, and double dip our tax dollars to pay for what should be normal policing. Shortsighted not realizing that good schools increase values and image of the city.

56 Mimi (original) September 2, 2014 at 10:50 PM

I miss the crossing guard at Babel & Joan. Children these days have no concept of car speeds, etc. Due to overexposure to television they do not believe they can be seriously hurt, let alone killed, by speeding vehicles. Crossing guards save lives!

57 Shiloh September 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM

I agree – volunteer policemen, police “explorers”, those trying to get hired on at the fire stations — they should be doing this. Getting some experience directing traffic, if you’re younger and wanting to get hired on, is a good thing. And those volunteer police are older people who enjoy interacting with and educating others — sounds like a win/win!

58 Shiloh September 2, 2014 at 11:17 PM

And, yes, the uniform would be a benefit :)

59 Shiloh September 2, 2014 at 11:18 PM

And @mosquitoburrito, you disgust me.

60 Michael Langley September 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

@ Kristi B. #45 Thanks for your efforts at Ayers. I did parking lot duty at El Dorado when I first began teaching. It was not always safe. Most drivers are considerate, but it only takes a few to endanger the children. It appears that the volume of traffic is greater than it was when many Claycordians went to school, way-back-when. That makes your volunteers very important indeed.

61 ConcordKid September 3, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Some of these comments are so off-base it’s ridiculous. When do cities make money off of state run schools? I grew up in the State streets and walked to elementary, intermediate and high school. And why should my tax dollars benefit ‘your’ children? How about YOU pay for your children’s welfare and stop expecting it to be someone else’s problem/expense?

Someone said kids aren’t walking to school because of unsafe streets. HA! How about they are lazy as crap and parent’s don’t know how to say ‘no’ anymore? Want a car at 16 and mommy and daddy will pay for it? Here you go. Don’t want to walk to school because it’s a whole mile or two away? Don’t worry, I’ll drive you and cause an even messed up commute for EVERYONE.

If you ever taken a minute to look at a City’s financial records you’ll see that city’s make squat these days and almost every penny gets sent to Sacramento before it is “reimbursed” to the city. Out of each dollar you ‘think’ you are paying to the city to squander, a city only gets pennies. Then, when you have to divide those pennies into keeping your parks clean, maintaining roads as best you can, picking up your garbage, policing the streets on limited staffing and investigate crime, fighting fires, keeping crack-a$$ businesses out of your community, and everything a city does for their community, it is really difficult, if not impossible, to please everyone.

And yes, everyone has their priorities – maybe yours is your children – but that doesn’t go for 100% of this city’s population, so stop making it seem like it’s the only priority the city has to face.

62 @ ConcordKid September 3, 2014 at 7:16 AM

What a sad, sad little man.

All I can say for you is it is obvious you have never lost a child to an unknown kidnapper while out and about on the “unsafe streets” as you call them.

63 Wellgeez September 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

What about adding stop signs? Those wouldn’t cost anything after installing them.

64 Kristi Buchholz September 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

@Wellgeez,
It’s not as easy as that. I requested a traffic study in front of Ayers elementary. The study was done, and the amount of traffic did warrant a stop sign. The city of Concord decided that it was not a good idea, as the majority of traffic on Myrtle Drive was only during certain times (drop off and pick up surprisingly), and that drivers would tend to ignore it at non peak times. If people ignore it, and an accident occurs, the city claimed it could be liable for the accident. The explanation seemed odd to me, but the city refused to make a 4 way stop at the intersection with the crosswalk.
I requested that lines of Bots Dots (the yellow round disks) be installed before each side of the crosswalk approach. I got a resounding “yes”, but was told it would take 6 months to get it done. Waiting patiently…

65 @ConcordKid September 3, 2014 at 11:54 PM

My daughter and her friends have been targeted by low life scum along Pine Hollow Road while walking home after school, trying to get them to “go for a ride.” My daughter came home one day and said a guy with tattoos and piercings in a beat-up car asked her group of girls if they’d like to go swimming at his big house where he had a lot of kittens and puppies, plus candy, etc. That’s not the only time I’ve heard of kids being asked to get in a stranger’s car along that route. This crap is going on in our community and it’s real.

Also, I strongly believe ALL adults in a community need to have a vested interest in the children’s safety who live there, whether those adults have children or not. It’s selfish and ignorant to say the welfare of Claycord’s children is “not your problem.” What a knuckle-dragging, mouth breather you are.

66 ConcordKid September 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM

What is a crossing guard going to do to deter a pervert from asking kids to get in their car? Crossing guards don’t escort your kids home.

And I didn’t say their welfare is not my problem. You have no idea what I do in my community to help kids out. But I shouldn’t have to “pay” someone to babysit your children to cross the street. This argument is about crossing guards – that’s it.

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