Crossing guard protects children going to school - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Crossing guard protects children going to school

LAWTON, Okla._Friday was the first day for Lawton Public School students to return to class. That also means the return of slower speeds in the school zones and crossing guards.

Lawton Public Schools first started using crossing guards in 2008 after many parents expressed concerns that their children would need help crossing some of Lawton's busier streets. Now LPS has crossing guards at eight high traffic areas throughout the city.

Just like he would in the military, Allen Marshall wakes up at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. With his vest and his stop sign, he is the first person youngsters see when they head to school in the morning and one of the last in the afternoon. He works at the intersection of Ferris Avenue and Sheridan Road. The intersection desperately needed a crossing guard because there are no markings in the street and many drivers don't pay attention to the signs.

"You have to walk across the street with the kids when the light allows you to walk. You don't want to step out there when the lights are red and you have these fast motorists coming down. I don't come back down with my sign up, hoping they'll stop for me. I'm not doing that," said Marshall.

Many of the schools aren't on the main streets, but the children cross them. He's seen people try to speed through the school zones. But luckily, in the year he's been working, he hasn't seen anything tragic while on the job.

Marshall is a 21-year veteran who says it was time to relax. He retired in 1999 and worked small retail jobs. Last year, he retired from there too.

"I didn't do anything the entire summer. I got bored," he said.

His wife, who works at Tomlinson Middle School, told him about a job opening for a crossing guard, something he knew he had more than enough experience for.

"If you think about it...what is the military all about? Security. Keeping equipment safe, keeping personnel safe and making sure no one takes something they're not entitled to," said Marshall.

Marshal says although the job is a much slower pace, it is still important to him and summed it up in one word.

"Rewarding. I'm trying to keep the kids safe. I like this. I enjoy doing this," he said.

After helping the students at the intersection of Ferris Avenue and Sheridan Road, he heads over to Washington Elementary School.


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