LPS, parents, on-foot students prepare for traffic - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

LPS, parents, on-foot students prepare for traffic

Lawton_Kids will be crossing busy Lawton intersections on Friday morning on the first day of school.  The debate between Lawton Public Schools (LPS) and upset parents has raged on over the last couple of weeks.  LPS says it needs to cut expenses, so buses won't be picking up kids within a mile-and-a-half radius of their schools.  Yesterday, the school district announced that it had hired additional crossing guards to monitor seven of the busiest intersections in Lawton.

Some parents say extra crossing guards won't help, and they have come up with creative ways to keep their kids safe.  They say that the thought of their kids crossing a busy street in the dark or bad weather is unacceptable.  Some parents are considering carpooling, dropping off their kids early as they go to work, or starting a "walking school bus" so kids aren't out on the roads alone. 

Traffic at the intersection of Cache Road and Homestead gets pretty heavy early in the morning, just as hundreds of middle school and high school students will begin walking to school.  Concerned parent Tammy Tago says that her kids have a bit of a difficult journey if they don't take the bus.  "The only other option (for the kids) is to cut through a creek, get on the railroad tracks, go through a barbed wire fence, and cut through a field - and who knows what's in that field and who owns it," she said. 

Another concerned parent, Selina Richardson, says her son was hit by a car nearly a decade ago, and now he is disabled.  She says she doesn't want her kid out on the busy streets.  "I do not see me letting my son walk to school," she said.  "I'm going to talk to my boss...I'm going to see if she'll let me be late, because he's not going to walk - even if I've got to quit, he is not going to walk."

Some kids don't like the new rule either.  Daniel Kimbrue says he is one of twenty kids walking from his neighborhood to school.  While his mom is worried about the cars and the route he has to take, he says he's more worried about timing and weather.  "Well, I'm concerned because we have to walk to school - and it's like two miles away and really dangerous," he said.  "If it starts storming away there, be all wet by the time you get to school - that's going to be...ugh."

LPS says they are committed to the safety of the students, and they've hired additional crossing guards to guide kids through intersections.  However, in the event that they don't hire enough guards for the new posts, school district police will step in and do the job.  If your kids are walking to school on Friday, there will be people there to help them arrive safely.  LPS says it still needs four more crossing guards - if you would like more information call 580-357-6900.  Until then, LPS officers will cover those intersections.

With all the extra kids along the streets, it's imperative that drivers slow down and watch for students as they head to school - mind the speed limit in school zones. 

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