CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has found nearly a quarter of the Cleveland school crossing guard jobs unfilled with dozens of positions open.
School just started, yet many busy intersections don’t have crossing guards.
The city says it has 349 crossing guard positions; 78 are vacant.
The city says it’s trying to cover many of the gaps for now by having crossing guards do double-duty. That is, have them cross kids at one school, then move on to another school with different start and end times.
We’ve seen the danger. Last year, a hit-and-run driver seriously injured a child outside a school on the far west side, and it happened where a crossing guard position was open.
The city says, by having guards do double-duty, they can cover about half of the unfilled posts. However, that still leaves dozens of open posts, and we’ve seen the problem before.
The I-Team contacted Cleveland councilmen Brian Kazy, Mike Polensek, and Kevin Conwell. All have questions about this and are looking into it. Polensek called the crossing guard system “broken.”
City Hall says it is processing about 20 applications for new guards, but council members have expressed concern before about how long it can take to get a new guard hired.
Police do the hiring, and the I-Team wanted to ask how things got to this point. No surprise we’ve come to the start of the school year. By email, a police spokesperson said, “We will not be interviewing on this at this time.”