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Crossing guards throughout Tucson prepare to put their training to the test

Posted at 8:12 AM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 15:52:13-04

As students head back to the classroom, crossing guards are getting ready to put their training to the test.

In Tucson, crossing guard training falls onto school districts. 

Districts have the ability to decide whether they want to conduct the training for all of their schools or if they want to allow individual schools to take it on.

Tucson Unified School District has a program and a coordinator dedicated to training crossing guards for the job. 

Crossing guards are taught everything from the protocol of setting up crosswalk signs to what they're required to wear while on the job. 

"Crossing guards are instructed that once the signs are in place, it becomes a legal crosswalk, all three of them have to be in place," said TUSD Crossing Guard Program Coordinator Norma Alicia-Cota.

Crossing guards are instructed to start off by placing two 15 mile per hour signs out on the street followed by the 'stop for children in the crosswalk' sign. Putting the signs out in that manner turns the area into a legal crosswalk. 

When crossing guards are getting ready to wrap up for the day their instructed to first remove the 'stop for children in the crosswalk sign' and then the two 15 mile per hour signs. 

Orange vests and hand-held stop signs are the two required items crossing guards need when they're working. 

"The idea is really to make themselves visible and that safety vest is an important piece," said Jerry Brown, the Safety Director for the Vail School District. 

There are also certain things crossing guards have to enforce among the students they help get to and from school everyday. 

"They have to walk their bike, we make them remove their earbuds so they're paying attention at all times, not looking at their phones. Not running across so we're not having any tripping accidents or bouncing any balls or anything like that and also paying attention because the more eyeballs the safer it is," said Ron Reyes, a two-year crossing guard for the Vail School District. 

Despite all of the training, crossing guards from all over encounter the same problem.

"Drivers I would tell them, definitely slow down, pay attention," said Reyes. 

The enjoyment of the job, however, always outweighing the problems encountered while on the job.