Crossing Guard Needed for Students in Hazleton

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Parents in Hazleton are concerned for their children's safety after they discovered a crossing guard was not there to help them cross a busy street.

Video sent to Newswatch 16 shows students on their way home from Heights Terrace Elementary Middle School waiting to cross very busy Poplar Street in Hazleton.

Eventually, the students made it across without the help of a crossing guard, but parents say they were lucky.

"It's crazy," Audrey Walton said. "People go around everybody and they don't watch people are turning. They just go and they're not doing the speed limit."

"The biggest concern is, you know, the no crossing guard right now," said Steve Naulty.

Families in this part of Hazleton say last year their children were taken off the bus route because they live within a mile of the school. But last year, they had a crossing guard to help dozens of students get across this busy street.

"Last year was even crazy with the crossing guard. Mary, she would almost get hit by cars. She would yell at people all the time to stop. She would have to literally stand in front of kids to make sure they didn't get hit half the time. It was crazy," Walton said.

The district says it is desperately seeking someone to fill the crossing guard position for the students who cross at Poplar Street and Samuels Avenue but hasn't been able to fill the position.

Until then, the district recommends students walk a quarter-mile down Poplar Street to Beech Street where a crossing guard is present.

Parents think that's unrealistic.

"Not to mention, walk down Poplar Street which is also a main road that much further and there's more chances of them getting hit by a car to cross down there. They just need to get their stuff together and bring our crossing guard back or go one step further and bring our buses back," Naulty said.

Until the district can fill the crossing guard vacancy, parents hope drivers will take crosswalk signs seriously and drive safely through this area.

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