Dallas crossing guards find new testing standards too strict

When Dallas County Schools was disbanded last year, it left questions about who would manage crossing guards.

The city of Dallas took over and contracted an outside firm, which is now testing the guards. The process is causing misery for some. Even experienced guards are having trouble passing.

The city hopes to put about 350 crossing guards at the most critical intersections when school starts. However, it’s the new testing required to be a crossing guard that has cost some people their jobs.

When school crossing guards shepherd children across intersections come August, they will be under new management.

“We hired All City Management Services. They are the largest private school crossing guard provider in the nation,” explained Cheritta Johnson, the assistant director of the School Crossing Guards Program.

The current crew of crossing guards are being evaluated.

Albert Pleasant had been a Dallas school crossing guard since 2011. But when school starts, he’ll be sitting down because he did not pass his field evaluation.

“The stress test that they're giving is not necessary for a crossing guard to do all these things,” he said.

So far, Pleasant and 10 others have failed to qualify.

“My concern is about the citizens, the crossing guards who are eligible and qualified to cross and know all the crossing procedures,” Pleasant said. “Are they gonna eliminate them?”

Johnson says the new standards are to make sure the crossing guards are fit for duty.

“We have to make sure that those individuals are capable of performing the duties of a school crossing guard and making sure that the children who attend school within Dallas are safe,” she said.

Johnson says new standards also include no sitting in your vehicle or chair waiting for students to come to the cross walk.

Pleasant says he feels he can still do the job and says the new standards are more than what’s necessary for the job.