Concerns grow over lack of crossing guards near Volusia elementary school

No crossing guard currently stationed at popular intersection

DeLAND, Fla. – While much of the county's focus has been on safety on school campuses, one Volusia County mother believes there needs to be more safety for her children off campus, beginning with a crossing guard at a popular intersection. 

Crystal Golden lives less than a mile away from Freedom Elementary in DeLand, but has struggled walking her children across the intersection of Blue Lake Avenue and Taylor Road because of cars speeding and driving past her and her family in the crosswalk. At one point, Golden recorded a video, showing people illegally driving around them in the crosswalk on one of the first days of school. 

"People are turning right on red when they're trying to cross because they're busy on their phones or not paying attention," Golden said.  

Golden notified the school district and got the following email from Volusia County Superintendent Tom Russell: 

"I am very familiar with the intersection of Blue Lake and Taylor.....The district does not oversee school crossing guards.  They are managed by the Sheriff's department, (and) we will contact them regarding this concern."

News 6 spoke with representatives from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, and was told that a school crossing evaluation committee determines whether or not an intersection needs a crossing guard based on factors such as traffic and usage. 

Now, with the help of several developments being built nearby, Golden hopes she can rally others and create a petition to finally get a crossing guard. 

[RELATED: New sidewalks added at Pine Ridge Elementary at urging of studentsMan hits 80-year-old crossing guard in face, Seminole deputies say]

"I'm not trying to cause trouble, I just want the kids to be safe," Golden said.  

The issue does not appear to be connected to staffing with county school crossing guards. Volusia County deputies said they only have one opening for a full-time crossing guard, and 13 openings for intermittent positions that fill in on sick days, vacation, etc. There are a total of 108 school crossing guard positions in the county. 

The School Crossing Evaluation Committee has discussed that location in the past, saying it may warrant a crossing guard in the future as development and traffic in the area increases. The committee meets again in September. 

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