Concerns Rise Weatherly Heights Elementary Parents: Parents at Weatherly Heights Elementary School in Huntsville, Alabama, are expressing concern for their children’s safety as the school will no longer have a traffic guard to help them cross the busy intersection of Weatherly Road and Canstatt Drive.
The principal informed parents on November 16 that, starting November 27, a crossing guard will not be stationed at the intersection due to manpower shortages in the Huntsville Police Department’s (HPD) Special Operations Unit, which staffs safety patrol aides for the Huntsville City Schools district.
Despite attempts by the school’s PTA and principal to convince the police department to rearrange its resources, the decision remains unchanged. The HPD spent time teaching students how to use pedestrian assist buttons at the intersection, emphasizing the importance of safety. However, parents are worried about the potential risks, citing instances where even with a police officer present, there were near misses with oncoming traffic.
Courtney Jeffreys, a parent and PTA member, expressed frustration, saying, “The safety of our kids is the number one priority, and that should be the number one priority for the police, for the school, for everybody.” She mentioned attempts to discuss the issue with HPD, suggesting the possibility of switching crossing guards with another location, but was told it was not possible due to safety concerns.
Huntsville Police noted that approximately 10 students per day use the crosswalk in question. In response, they are encouraging individuals to apply for crossing guard positions, describing it as a great part-time opportunity for parents, grandparents, retirees, and community members interested in ensuring the safety of children.