Traffic cone crossing guards seek to slow school zone speeding

Pearson+Middle+School+teachers+have+started+to+dress+up+while+cross+guarding.+The+goal+is+to+attract+enough+from+drivers%2C+that+nobody+goes+above+the+speed+limit+in+the+school+zone%2C+making+for+a+safe+walk+to+and+from+school+for+students.+

Erika Pernis

Pearson Middle School teachers have started to dress up while cross guarding. The goal is to attract enough from drivers, that nobody goes above the speed limit in the school zone, making for a safe walk to and from school for students.

It’s an early morning when a black sedan speeds past on Stonebrook Parkway, ignoring the 20 MPH school zone and the children about to cross the street on their way to school. 

The car missed two school zone signs, a flashing yellow light, and two dancing human sized traffic cones. 

We wanted just to remind them what we’re doing out here and we want to make sure students get to school safe,”

— Pearson Middle School teacher Katrina McGuire

At Pearson Middle School the speeding is all too common according to staff members, but the teachers dressed as bright neon cones are not. 

After witnessing constant traffic violations that endangered their students, special education teacher Katrina McGuire and Texas history teacher Stephanie George decided to take matters into their own hands by dressing up in costumes during crosswalk duty once a month to bring awareness to road safety in school zones. 

“We love our students and we noticed there were several individuals who were not practicing correct crosswalk or school zone safety,” McGuire said. “We wanted just to remind them what we’re doing out here and we want to make sure students get to school safe.”

Inspired by social media, McGuire and George wanted to spread awareness in a joyful way.

“Doing traffic duty or crosswalk, it gets a little frustrating because people aren’t paying attention, they’re on their phones,” George said. “So instead of trying to yell at them, we wanted to do something positive and it’s been a kinda crazy year, so we wanted to make sure there’s more positivity out here.”

After the first time dressing up, the two teachers got positive feedback from several members of the community. 

Doing traffic duty or crosswalk, it gets a little frustrating because people aren’t paying attention, they’re on their phones,”

— Pearson Middle School teacher Stephanie George

“We talked about it all day, and our principal posted it on Twitter,” McGuire said. “We got lots of comments, and even the police department liked it, so I think it just puts everyone in a good mood in the morning.”

McGuire and George have many costumes set up for the upcoming holiday season, planning on continuing to dress up and spread more joy until the roads get safer. 

“A lot of people were like thank you for making us smile, so that was more of the response we got than anything was just about being positive,” George said. “And if that’s what we take away from it that’s fine too. We just hopefully want to raise awareness at the same time.”