No one’s been hired for a third of the crossing guard positions this school year in Cleveland. It seems the city struggles every year to hire crossing guards, but this year it’s worse.
Crossing guards control the chaos of kids coming and going, but weeks into the school year, the I-Team has found the city is short about 125 crossing guards.
Outside Wade Park School, the I-Team met 11-year-old Ronson Taylor and his dad.
“There’s a lot of traffic. Usually, there’s like six to 10 cars when I try to cross the street,” Ronson said.
Ronald Taylor reacted when we told him how many crossing guards positions are unfilled.
“I don’t understand where they’re at or why weren’t they hired? Especially on a block right here,” he said.
Cleveland police say they’re trying, but nationwide, hiring people for so many kinds of jobs can be tough.
“It’s got a really great benefits package. It’s not a huge commitment,” Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said.
Cleveland police consider a crossing guard a part-time job with full-time benefits. You work about 30 to 45 minutes in the morning and 30 to 45 minutes in the afternoon.
The guards earn $20.50 a day, but they also get complete city benefits.
“For that little bit of commitment, you do get full benefits through the city, so you get medical, dental and vision benefits through the city and that’s for your whole family,” Ciaccia said.
Another look at the impact of the critical shortage. Police try to put the guards they do have in the busiest places, corners with the greatest need.
Yet, every post along every busy street does not always get covered.
A few years ago, the I-Team showed you a student hit by a car and left seriously hurt outside a city school with no crossing guard.
Erin Webb is a parent who drives her kids to school. She’s glad to do it, especially with the crossing guard shortage.
“To have family to be able to pitch in to help is comforting,” she said.
The I-Team also checked with Akron Public Schools. We found Akron also short on crossing guards. Down by about 20%.
To find out more about all of those open positions in Cleveland, you can contact Cleveland Police at 216-623-5577.