Portsmouth parents angry school did not provide crossing guard along busy road

Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-26 19:22:55-04

Portsmouth, Va. - Several Portsmouth parents say their kids are in danger because Portsmouth City Schools have failed to provide a crossing guard for kids along a busy road.

To see a crossing guard on River Shore Road is pretty unusual.

After NewsChannel 3 took action, parents are hoping that this will change.

Parents told us that most days of the week, a crossing guard is nowhere to be found forcing kids to walk to and from school alone.

"That's my worst nightmare; that a child is going to get hurt. I mean, the trucks and the people who come down this road, they don't slow down. It's 35, they don't slow down to 25,” says Christine Cotton, a concerned parent.

Between the elementary school, the middle school, and the high school, neighbors say about 30-40 kids cross River Shore Road at some of the busiest times of the day without a crossing guard

Christine Cotton has a 10-year-old daughter who she won't let walk to school alone.

Cotton has actually made a log of how often she says a crossing guard is there, which is not often. Cotton has now taken matters into her own hands by walking with the kids.

“In good conscious, I could not knowingly know that these children were going across the street with nobody here, so I make sure it's either me or my sister. We come up here and make sure somebody's here to walk, you know,” says Cotton.

Cotton contacted NewsChannel 3 to take action, and when we called Portsmouth City Schools, they told us they're short-staffed and that the turnover rate for crossing guards is high.

After NewsChannel 3 spoke to the school system, we went back during dismissal and a crossing guard was on duty.

Parents tell us no one was working at the intersection this morning.

The school system told NewsChannel 3 they've just trained new crossing guards so this shouldn't be a problem from now on.