ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Crossing guards keep our kids safe as they walk on busy streets to get to and from school, but they’re just aren’t enough in the Round Rock Independent School District.
Prior to the pandemic, the district had 105 crossing guards, but now there are only 60.
The RRISD Police Department has helped fill those vacant positions along with volunteers, but they need help and are hoping more people will sign up.
“We are constantly going around our district looking for areas and listening to the community when they send information about crossing street concerns,” said Jeffrey Yarbrough, RRISD chief of police. “We are responsive to those (concerns) and make sure we have an officer or staff available to ensure our kids are making it to school safely.”
A crossing guard is a part-time position that works one shift in the morning and another in the afternoon. Training is provided by Round Rock ISD police and you can make $12 an hour.
There are some concerns with officers covering the crosswalks, Yarbrough said. Officers could be called to respond to an emergency and would have to leave their post, but so far that hasn’t happened.
The officers covering the crosswalks are working overtime to cover the vacancies.
“When we don’t have staffing for crossing guards we are having to pull officers to cover those positions to make sure our kids are safe and that does impact the overtime budget,” Yarbrough said.
Leander ISD is also facing a crossing guard shortage. The district needs to fill 53 positions. There are 23 openings at middle schools and 30 at elementary schools.
District officials say parents have been volunteering to fill the positions, but they hope people will sign up to fill the positions online soon.