GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – They’re the shepherds of the community, guiding our students to safety: Crossing guards and more are needed here in Green Bay.
Most days of the week, Christine McIntire ushers kiddos across the street at Aldo Leopold Community School, stopping cars that may be coming her way.
“I consider it extremely important because I’m the first face that these kids see,” said McIntire.
McIntire, who has been a crossing guard since schools opened back up after the pandemic, says she was drawn in because of her love for kids and her goal of ultimately becoming a teacher. Not only does she help kids get to school, but she goes to school herself.
“I only have one year left. I’m doing my last three classes now, and then I student teach in the spring, and I’ll have my educational degree, and I’ll be able to watch next fall,” McIntire said.
In the meantime, she loves helping students make their way to class without incident and enjoys moments shared along the way.
“I welcome them, I say ‘good morning,’ they say ‘good morning’ back to me. Sometimes, we have a little chit-chat as they cross the street,” McIntire said.
Not only the first welcoming face the kids see at school, but she’s also the first line of defense when it comes to safety.
“We always have to be observant of the students arriving because maybe they’re not looking. If they’re older, they’re looking at their phones. Or they’re just not paying attention because they’re talking to friends,” McIntire explained.
Kevin Warych, who serves as the Commander of Operations with the Green Bay Police Department, said crossing guards such as McIntire play a key role in keeping school zone crashes at bay.
“Thankfully, those numbers are very, very low, if not very rare, but it’s a big tribute to the crossing guards. They keep these kids safe every single day,” said Warych.
But, he added, crossing guards keep a watchful eye on more than just the students.
“Crossing guards do have the ability to report violations in the police department. Which, sadly, we do get over the course of the school year, which officers then follow up and use their discretion on how to handle the incident,” explained Warych.
Warych told WFRV there’s a need for more crossing guards in the community: “We still need that pool of people where if someone’s sick or takes a vacation day that they can be called up on a morning’s notice to staff these intersections.”