Parents protest lack of crossing guard

April 18, 2012 1:30:47 PM PDT
Parents and community activists have gathered in protest in one Philadelphia neighborhood due to what, they say, is a lack of crossing guards to help keep their children safe.

This comes after a little girl was struck down by a car near Sprague and Woodlawn in the city's Germantown section.

Holding signs and wearing orange vests, parents and students stood on the corner Wednesday morning, near the spot where a student at Pastorious Elementary School was struck by a car last Friday. School officials say she's in first grade and is expected to be okay. The driver remained on the scene and no charges are expected.

"It wasn't nobody's fault. She just darted out into the street," said parent Veronica Gross.

Action United collected signatures for a petition, calling for crossing guards. The group has been working with parents in this neighborhood for several months and helped organize the rally.

Concerned residents can't remember the last time a crossing guard stood on this corner but say with the more 500 students, many of whom walk to school, action needs to be taken.

"Some of the children are escorted by parents and some are not. They just jaywalk across the street, they don't go the way they were probably taught. It's a problem," said Darleene Brooks, the great aunt of a student.

The principal says the school staff and parents volunteer to be stationed around the perimeter of the school and were out on there on Friday when the accident occurred. However, he believes crossing guards add more safety and more control when school lets in and out.

"Crossing guards are definitely something we need," said Principal Aaron Starke. "We've been trying to do the best we can with the resources that we have."