MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Parents in Moreno Valley are asking the city to reconsider cutting funding for more than two dozen crossing guards.
The budget cuts have parents fearing for the safety of their children.
CBS2’s Tom Wait spoke to anxious parents.
“She’s protecting every single one of the children that go here,” said one parent.
She’s literally the last line of defense between heavy traffic and helpless kids and parents.
Beverly Barganier is a crossing guard outside of Butterfield Elementary School in Moreno Valley. Wait says her usual post is a spot where she says drivers don’t always following the rules of the road.
“When I go out there sometimes, they almost run me over,” Barganier says.
At one busy intersection near the school there are four lanes of traffic so parents are, of course. concerned when they hear there might be no funding for crossing guards.
As essential as parents and kids feel Barganier is, her job is on the line.
The city of Moreno Valley is phasing her out — along with all the other crossing guards who protect more than 30 intersections across the city.
Parents are frustrated.
“I feel more calm if the crossing guard is here. The kids are more safe that way crossing the streets,” says Amgelina Cisneros.
“When you put a body out there it’s better than not having nothing out there – it doesn’t make sense to me,” says Linda Contreras.
The district says the crossing guards will be let go beginning later this month. A district spokesman says the city ambushed them with their decision to defund the crossing guards. The mayor claims the district had plenty of notice.
Wait asked Moreno Valley Mayor Jesse Molina if he felt the city was leaving the district in the lurch by defunding the crossing guards mid school year.
“No. I don’t. It has to start sometime. And school year or not, talks have to start,” said Molina.
“Overall I feel sad for the children because a lot of these kids – they need to be safe,” said Barganier.
School officials told Wait they are scrambling to find solutions and said they won’t put student safety in jeopardy. But, as of now, Wait reports there is no official back up plan is in place.