AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Beatrice Bailey first started as a crossing guard over a decade ago at her children’s school, she never imagined one day she would become one of the supervisors in the department training the next generation of crossing guards.
“The education that these kids get from the training from a crossing guard when they’re in elementary, it helps them through middle school, high school and adult life,” explained Bailey.
Today, Bailey is calling on the community for help. There are 55 vacant crossing guard positions. That’s about double the amount from previous years. Those crossing guards are needed for 36 Austin Independent School District schools.
“Right now, we really need people to come out that want to be here for our children,” she said.
Bailey reminds the crossing guards they’re providing life lessons one step at a time.
“A lot of these kids, if they don’t learn that they can become a victim, because they won’t know that if they just jaywalked across the street or rode their bike in the middle of the street, that’s not safe,” she said.
And while Bailey may have three at home, she is a mother figure to nearly a thousand AISD students.
“I tell the parents all the time, you know, I know you gave birth to these babies, but guess what, I’m going to treat them just like one of mine,” she said.
The job requires people to dedicate two-and-a-half hours every weekday. At this time, the job pays $15 an hour, but city officials said that could change by October if city council approves the proposed city budget, which includes a proposed increase to Austin’s living wage, from $15 to $18 per hour.
Those interested can apply online through the City of Austin jobs website at AustinCityJobs.org. If an applicant is in need of assistance, they can contact Leticia Richardson at (512) 974-9181. City officials said crossing guards will need to complete a criminal background check.