Admin

Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion

Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion
Posted on 02/15/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestionstory by Dwight Henson
photography by Reesha Brown


Parents dropping off their kids at Turner recently may have noticed it’s taking less time than it used to, thanks to the Turner safety patrol.

When faced with problems of traffic congestion, Turner Elementary Principal Donna Duke took inspiration from the AAA safety patrol program to empower her students to take a critical role in implementing a solution.

“I remember seeing safety patrols when I was a kid and thought: why not now?” said Duke. “I researched AAA’s safety patrol guidelines and modified them to work at Turner. Congestion is now significantly lower as a result and parent complaints have been reduced by at least 80 to 90 percent.”

With school safety ever at the forefront of her mind, Duke put strict measures in place to protect Turner’s safety patrol officers.

“We always ensure the safety of all our students, so we only accept applications from fourth graders— and that’s after their parents have signed a release form for them to participate,” said Duke. “Students never leave school property and are only helping out alongside the school’s drop-off lane.”

Wearing bright green belts and caps labelled “safety patrol”, two student officers lower flags on long poles in the crosswalk to stop drivers and let students exiting parked vehicles cross. Additional student officers alleviate congestion by opening up car doors and greeting students at six designated drop-off stations beyond the crosswalk.

“Having six clearly defined drop-off stations significantly decreases the time it takes for me to get my daughter to school,” said PISD Director of Communication and Turner Elementary parent Arturo Del Barrio. “The students themselves are never put into any danger because they are simply using the flags to stop vehicles and ease congestion.”

Participation in the safety patrol requires each student to commit to coming in early for two to three days a week. Students eagerly participate in the program due to the benefits it provides.

“Safety patrol students hold fun meetings and parties, get their own t-shirts, participate in our annual Veteran’s Day program and receive wonderful leadership mentoring opportunities,” said Duke. “Other students look up to them as school leaders, so they carry themselves with a great deal of pride-- being the ultimate example of what it means to be a Turner Texan.”

Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion.



Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion.

Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion.

Turner Elementary’s safety patrol eases congestion.