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Parents fed up with drivers ignoring crossing guards at SE Austin school

Parents near a southeast Austin elementary are fed up with drivers speeding past and ignoring a school crossing guard. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Parents near a southeast Austin elementary are fed up with drivers speeding past and ignoring a school crossing guard.

Parents say drivers going by J. Houston Elementary sometimes ignore the crossing guards by the school, driving by even though the guard is walking out with a stop sign raised.

“Sometimes I’ve even seen crossing guards to where they literally kind of just risk their lives and kind of jump in the middle to make the cars stop basically. Because people will just drive and won’t even pay attention that the kids that are there are trying to cross,” parent of four Houston elementary students Crystal Ramos said.

Ramos, other parents and guards themselves say that happens nearly every day. One parent said speed is also a problem. She said three of her own dogs have been killed by drivers.

“People aren’t paying attention, they’re in a rush to get to work or in a rush to get wherever they’re going,” Ramos said.

Ramos said she respects these crossings guards who’d “rather get themselves hit than the child.” However, the city says it has a shortage of crossing guards.

“Our biggest thing right now is we just need more crossing guards,” Amir Emamian with Safe Routes to Schools said.

He said many intersections throughout the city need a crossing guard.

“But if no one applies that lives in that neighborhood or close to there, it’s tough to hire someone to be a crossing guard there,” Emamian said.

According to Public Works there are 16 open positions for crossing guards throughout the city.

The department says these schools need crossing guards.

2 Barton Hills Elementary

1 Blackshear Elementary

1 Dell Valle Elementary (floater)

1 Hill Elementary

1 Highland Park Elementary

1 JJ Pickle Elementary

1 Winn Elementary

1 Maplewood Elementary

1 Laurel Mountain Elementary

1 Live Oak Elementary

1 Summer Elementary

1 Casis Elementary

1 Mills Elementary

1 Rodriguez Elementary

1 Houston Elementary

Ramos says she hopes drivers just slow down.

“One of these days one of these kids are going to get hit and they’re going to be responsible for it and they’re going to say oh I’m very sorry, but sorry is not enough,” she said.

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