TULSA -- Jenks Northwest Elementary parents are at their wits end after fighting to get a crossing guard to protect their children.
The parents have filled in as volunteers since August and said the time to hire someone is now, and they're taking action.
Every school day for the last seven months, a few dozen children cross the street off 77th and Elwood. To some, the street is notorious for speeders and heavy traffic, and parents believe it’s only a matter of time before a child is hurt.
Parents came together on Wednesday from all across the nearby neighborhood.
“The safety of the kids is our biggest concern and it should be the school's as well,” Sarah Graves, mother of a Jenks Northwest student said.
Anger and frustration fueled the afternoon meeting outside the school.
“I guarantee you paying someone a little bit more to put somebody out there is going to cost a lot less than a lawsuit when a kid gets hit,” one parent said.
For the last seven months, children have been forced to cross the busy street with speeding cars. Although parents currently volunteer to fill the void, sometimes the crosswalk goes unguarded without anyone present. Children are then forced to fend for themselves.
“Parents do step up, but we’d like to have the designation of an actual crossing guard here paid for by the City,” Graves said.
2 Works for You was able to connect the group of upset parents with Jenks Public Schools representatives to hear their concerns.
“I had a conversation with the City today,” Rob Loeber, with Jenks schools said.
The feeling between parents and the school district is mutual. Both said children need a permanent safeguard when crossing the street.
“Elwood is a City of Tulsa street,” Loeber said. “It’s their jurisdiction, therefore it is their responsibility.”
The City of Tulsa said no applicants have applied to take the crossing guard job, and trouble filling these positions is a citywide issue.
Parents said they’ve been contacting the City for months and demand a solution before a child gets hurt. Unfortunately, this requires someone to apply for the job, and the City is even offering to pay the parents volunteering.
Regardless of pay, parents said the need is dire and hope someone out there is willing to step in full-time. Until then, these parents will continue to take turns volunteering their time to keep these kids safe.
They also hope Jenks schools will help them put pressure on the City for a solution to find someone able to do the job.
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