No plan for Greater Victoria school crossing guard program in September

No plan for Greater Victoria school crossing guard program in September

The association that runs the crossing guard program in five South Island municipalities is closing its doors, leaving the future of the program uncertain.

The Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association is closing shop June 23rd.

The $150,000 needed to run the crossing guard program comes from a variety of sources including parent advisory committees, school districts, and municipalities.

The Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association staffs 19 intersections in Saanich, View Royal, Esquimalt, Victoria, and Oak Bay.

Norm Tandberg started his second career as a crossing guard in Esquimalt 16-years ago, and for him, it’s more than a job.

“I like keeping them safe,” Tandberg said. “I know I’d step in front of a car if I had to to make sure a kid didn’t get hit.”

Tandberg started working this intersection of Lyall and Lampson three years ago, as part of the program run by the Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association.

It’s a program considered essential to many parents, including Nevin Thompson.

“It’s really dangerous for kids, in Victoria, just to walk to school,” Thompson said. “So that’s why we need crossing guards.”

Thompson said it’s frustrating to hear there is no plan in place for September.

“The city streets are pretty dangerous for children, especially when they are going to school,” Thompson said. “It’s really dangerous because people are driving to work, and when kids are going to school, people are speeding to get to work.”

View Royal’s Mayor David Screech said it’s time for all parties, including the ministry of education, and school districts, to support the program.

“The province, and the school boards need to realize that getting the children to school is important, and we need all parties at the table to figure out what’s going to happen come September,” Screech said. “Because as of right now, in many schools, there will not be any crossing guards.”

According to the parent-run Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association, no one from the Greater Victoria School District, or five municipalities have contacted them with a plan for crossing guards in September.

READ MORE: Victoria council approves $50,000 for crossing guard program

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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