APS celebrates School Crossing Guard Recognition Week (Jan. 11-15)

APS Department of Safety and Security announces a first …

After managing school crossing guards for over 30 years, the Atlanta Police Department discontinued doing so after severe budget cuts in 2008. This resulted in APS Department of Safety and Security (under the leadership of Marquenta A. Sands and Elbert Stringer, Jr.) picking up the torch and creating its own School Crossing Guard Program – the only one of its kind in the state of Georgia.

The honorable Gov. Sonny Purdue has officially declared Jan. 11-15, 2010 as Atlanta Public Schools School Crossing Guard Recognition Week for the state of Georgia.

Being a crossing guard is often a thankless job. They endure all types of inclement weather, take verbal abuse from motorists who on occasion, fail to stop at their Stop Paddle; and lastly, they run the daily risk of being physically injured, all for the sake of protecting children, our most valued resource! Crossing Guards take our motto to heart: “Safety is FIRST with us Everyday Everywhere”.

The Atlanta Public Schools’ Crossing Guard Program is celebrating the dedication and hard work of crossing guards by recognizing crossing guards in schools around the district.

A number of APS elementary and middle schools were mailed posters and asked to post them in their schools. Principals are also invited to join this celebration by asking students to write “thank you” cards to the crossing guards. Be sure to say “thank you” when you see a crossing guard at your school.

If your school has completed “thank you” cards, please post them on bulletin boards along with the School Crossing Guard poster. You can also send cards to the address below:

Attention: Carole Willis, SCG Supervisor
Department of Safety and Security
CLL Building
5th Floor

We will conclude the week with an Awards and Recognition Ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Some of the cards will be read during the ceremony.

Although elementary children are the main focus of attention, we also voluntarily assist middle school students crossing the street. Each year in this country approximately one thousand children under age 16 are killed in pedestrian-crashes, often because children fail to look left-right-left and over the shoulder before stepping off the curb. One of the duties of a crossing guard is to instruct children on how to safely cross the streets. They play a vital role in child pedestrian safety.

On behalf of the Department of Safety and Security, thank you for your time and support as we recognize the value of School Crossing Guards in reducing child-pedestrian crashes throughout the APS district.

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