A school crossing sign. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)A school crossing sign. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

No More School Safety Patrol In CK

Students at the public board in Chatham-Kent will have to cross the street by themselves on their way to and from school this fall.

The Lambton Kent District School Board has decided to eliminate its student safety patrol program in Chatham-Kent starting June 30, 2017.

Public Relations Officer Heather Hughes says the elimination is due to on going concerns about student safety and liability. Hughes says the program cut is in line with the municipality who cut their crossing guard services in December.

"We thought that given a lot of the concerns and consideration for students safety, that it made sense at this time to eliminate the program as of the end of this year," says Hughes.

The board only offers the safety patrol program in five locations across Chatham and Wallaceburg right now.

The board encourages parents to visit ckpolice.com/pedestrian-safety for traffic safety procedures.

Hughes says the board wants to make sure all the students are safe.

"We don't want any of the elementary students who are assuming these positions as safety patrollers being put in any kind of positions where they have to make any kind of decisions that might have additional liability or risk associated with it," says Hughes.

Board staff will continue to supervise students as they arrive at school.

"We as a board don't oversee public property as far as the sidewalks or the roads where the crossing guard program was put in place -- that's municipal property," says Hughes. "However, as soon as a student is on school property, we are looking after those kids."

Several communities are set to receive pedestrian crossing devices, but they aren’t expected to be installed until May or June.

Jim Cracknell is still filling in as a crossing guard in Dresden until the new signs are installed, but he's not associated with the municipality.

A previous release from the municipality said it is up to parents to ensure their children reach school safely, adding that both children and adults — even crossing guards — need to obey traffic laws.


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