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Hillsborough County sheriff calls for crossing guards at middle schools after ABC Action News report

Posted: 1:39 PM, Feb 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-05 08:42:33-05
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RIVERVIEW, Fla. — A second middle school in Hillsborough County is trying to raise its own private funds to hire a private crossing guard company, but the school doesn't have a crosswalk outside of it for one.

ABC Action News first told you about Mulrennan Middle School raising $13,000 to fund a private company, The Crossing Guard, to help students safely cross roads outside their school.

Just two weeks after our first story, a second middle school is starting a fundraiser for one crossing guard through the same company outside Rodgers Middle School in Riverview. However, the parents trying to secure a crossing guard was told they would need a crosswalk outside the school.

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There isn't a crosswalk along McMullen Road and the school has no sidewalks along the route to school on Tucker Road. ABC Action News also found there is no flashing 20 m.p.h. school zone sign along Tucker Road.

According to an online agenda, on Wednesday, Hillsborough County Commissioners will discuss what it would cost to provide crossing guard services at all middle schools in the county.

Commissioner Stacy White brought forward the discussion, the agenda says:

"Commissioner’s Recommended Board Motion: Direct staff to (a) determine the estimated cost for providing crossing guard services at all traditional public middle schools in Hillsborough County and (b) identify potential funding sources for this expense."

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office runs the crossing guard program for all elementary schools in the district, and they have long said they don't have the staffing or funds to expand.

However, now Sheriff Chad Chronister and Commissioner Stacy White say they have seen enough after our recent coverage.

"We have a responsibility to do what it takes to keep our kids safe," said Sheriff Chronister. "Ensuring the safety of our children is an important priority for everyone in this county."

"As much as we talk about pedestrian safety initiatives we should make middle school students, many of them sixth graders, come first in those endeavors,"
Commissioner White continued. "It is unacceptable that parents have to raise money privately to keep our kids safe."

Chronister has asked for a detailed study that will let him know things like the cost of what it would take to administer a crossing guard program at middle schools across the county.

Commissioner White will ask the Hillsborough County Commission to formally partner in that study at this Wednesday's County Commission meeting. If the study shows that phased implementing such a program is feasible, Commissioner White will ask for special funding for the program and Sheriff Chronister will begin implementation of it.

ABC Action News reporter Nicole Grigg was outside the school Monday morning, see below:

Parents officially started their fundraiser Monday to fund the Crossing Guard company and they need to raise $5,000. They will host a color run in March to continue raising the funds.

For a link to the fundraiser, click here .