Crossing guards

As I was riding to work today, I stopped for the lollipop woman and teens to cross the road to school. I find this really perplexing… why do high school kids need a crossing guard?

When I looked into a different aspect of high school kid’s lives, I found reputable research from 2008 that indicated 1 in 3 young people in grade ten engaged in oral sex, 1/4 had sexual intercourse, and there was an increase in sexual partners.

I really find it amazing that so many kids can negotiate birth control and condoms, but we don’t trust them to negotiate traffic by themselves.


About Julie Rudner

With great excitement for the adventure we were about to go on, my mother would shout out, "We're off to see the Wizard"! It didn't matter if we were going to the shops for milk, the museum or a holiday. My mum focused on the joy of the everyday, knowing that if we engaged with life, we would always find something new and positive. With great animation my dad would explain the workings of things and how to pull things apart, put them back together, and if the situation called for it, make something new. My sister and I were taught to evaluate situations, make our decisions, and reap the consequences (both good and bad). We were encouraged to push our boundaries and not let fear prevent us from pursuing our dreams. Importantly, we learned to pick ourselves up, learn from our 'failures', and use our valuable lessons to build our confidence, independence and strength in ourselves.
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3 Responses to Crossing guards

  1. agavearts says:

    It’s not neccessarily about what the kids can do, but as a safety signal for the drivers. I’ve heard the argument from colleagues here many times that they don’t use their seatbelts because they are ‘good drivers’. I don’t care how good you are, it doesn’t stop some other tool from crashing into you.
    As a parent, I’d like to think that at least my kids have the option of using a clearly marked crossing.

  2. Julie Rudner says:

    Yes – there is a problem that many people assume they are ‘good’ drivers without considering the dynamics of other drivers, cyclists, walkers, etc, and the fact that they only have partial control within the broader driving context.

    I also do not have an issue with marked crossings. When I was growing up, my city had zebra lines painted which signified a crossing. I could put my hand up, signalling that I wanted to cross, and drivers were legally required to stop and let me cross.

    The provision of a crossing guard for high schools kids is an issue for me for the following reasons (in no particular order and not extensive):

    Other means of ensuring a better traffic/walking environment are available such as reduced speeds (30km or lower), redesign of streets, regulations that ensure walkers and cyclists have greater priority over drivers;

    Drivers need to be aware of their environment and young people in the environment at all times, not just in response to signage or signals;

    ‘Safe’ crossings are only provided during school hours on school days without consideration for the school travel catchment, other days, times, locations, and activities;

    Young people need to learn how to assess and negotiate a variety of traffic conditions on their own;

    Without the full experience of their environment as walkers and cyclists, young people will be limited in their scope of understanding of walkers and cyclists when they become drivers.

    Rather than provide crossing guards, which ultimately emphasises the rightful dominance of driving and car transport, I would really like to see young people, parents, other carers, friends, etc… agitate for a change in how we design roads and crossings, allocate and select speed limits, and change driver behaviour so that crossing guards are no longer ‘needed’.

  3. They also have to work, in and out of school, on the social issues that arise within their peer groups. They learn about the many changes that puberty brings to their bodies. The social arena dominates fifth grade life, and they need help figuring it all out, from coping with rejection, to resolving conflicts, to handling bullying and violence. Many fifth graders have a growing awareness of the opposite sex, and this may be addressed by fifth-grade teachers as part of a health awareness or sex education program.

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