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Newsletter / People On Foot

Orlando Sentinel: School Crossing Guards Vital To Safety – My Word

scott-boyd-district-1-jpg-20150205When the Orange County Board of County Commissioners presented the proclamation recognizing School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day as Feb. 6 — today — I thought it was an excellent opportunity to highlight the significant contributions that these men and women give to our community. The presence of a crossing guard can save lives at busy intersections. The tasks they perform are often thankless and dangerous; each morning and afternoon, they place themselves between exuberant children and impatient drivers. We must recognize that what they do is not easy or convenient.

My main objective as a county commissioner is to use my ability to effect constructive policy and incite positive change within my community. This is why I have been engaged for more than five years in an effort to improve the pedestrian-safety conditions at a particularly problematic school. We have implemented modifications in traffic patterns, signals, enforcement and parent/driver education efforts. One of the critical pieces to the safety puzzle is the presence of enough crossing guards to direct traffic and safely guide students through the intersection.

The current structure may not allow for teachers or staff to contribute to this need off campus. My intent is to offer a venue to enable those wishing to do so to act. I recognize the demands on our teachers are draconian; they daily walk out an impressive multitude of roles. The success of our education system relies on these compassionate, hard-working and selfless individuals to ignite an excitement for learning in our young generation. Supporting these individuals with comprehensive policies will ensure the success and safety of our youth in Orange County.

It takes a unified effort to impact our community. This is why I continue to support Orange County schools and Sheriff’s Office as we address the challenge of growth and public safety in our community. If we work together and stay focused on seeking solutions, we will successfully achieve our top priority of keeping our children safe.

Scott Boyd is an Orange County commissioner.

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