Crossing Guards: Safe Passage to School
By Cleo Lampos
For weeks now, those of us who live in the city of Chicago have been hearing about Safe Passage. It is the route that the children of Chicago Public Schools need to traverse twice every day to get to and from their institutions of learning. Most of these routes cross gang territory which spill out violence and blood on a daily basis. No wonder the parents of students whose schools have been closed worry about the safety of their children as they walk with their backpacks to new schools. The corridors are emblazoned with signs that say, “Safe Passage” in black letter on a bright yellow background. Volunteers as well as paid crossing guards are stationed in intervals along the route. So far, so good. A deep sigh from CPS headquarters. But the school year has just begun.
All the apprehensions that these Chicago urban parents feel were owned by me when my three children needed to walk to school from our Chicago suburban home. The trecherous part of their journey was crossing Southwest Highway, a busy street with aggressive drivers. After meeting Mrs. Childs, I never worried about my children. Mrs. Childs served as crossing guard at the corner of SW Highway and 52 Avenue for twenty years. Every school day. Ahead of time. Personally accounted for all children on the route. Her service to parents and the community for safety is enormous.
To all the crossing guards out there, let me say for all of the parents of students whom you care for: thank you. Thank you for a job well done. Thank you for safe passage.
Cleo Lampos is the parent of three children who now have ten grandchidren among them. She is grateful to the room moms, secretaries, janitors, bus drivers and crossing guards whose vigilance create safe schools for all children.
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