I am one of your (former) School Crossing Guards. I grew up in Santa Monica and attended all schools from elementary to high school and SMC. I love my City, my job and miss the kids many of whom I have known their families for years, some I even went to school with who themselves are parents now.
In exploring “ other viable alternatives “ like hiring an outside company for your School Crossing Guards, on behalf of all of us, we are begging you to just consider this: why not just cut the force by 50%, implement a reduction in pay, and keep the Guards that you already have. We have all been through extensive vetting and training and are familiar with our City, our kids and their parents. Why hire strangers? If you consider Santa Monica “ a family” … your thought process does not make sense. You already know us and WE ARE FAMILY.
Are we just too expensive for one department to bear? NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago and a slew of other Guards work for their respective police departments. Why not just split the cost ( which will be lowered given the above) with the Board of Education? Are parents or the PTA really going to accept that you won’t have Guards? Or that you permanently let go of family … some of which have been on the job 30+ years?
You are going to need School Crossing Guards. We are not only essential to traffic safety but we also are an integral part of children’s education about traffic and pedestrian safety. Parents will not volunteer to stand in front of traffic at corners like : Cloverfield & Virginia, Ocean Park and 15th, 16th, 5,6,7, Lincoln & Montana & 9th, 14th & California … risking injury or death. Those statistics are located @ Nascg.org provided by the Labor Bureau.
We beg you to reconsider, during your reconstruction of City affairs … to just restructure your School Crossing Guards force.
Former SMPD School Crossing Guard