Hiring and Training Adult School Crossing Guards

The hiring, training, supervising and funding of adult school crossing guards is typically the responsibility of local law enforcement agencies, traffic engineering departments, individual schools or school districts.

An adult school crossing guard can be a paid employee or a volunteer member of the community. Paid employees may be preferred because an employer has the ability to train, evaluate and discipline an employee. Every prospective guard should undergo a basic physical examination and criminal background check. A guard should have good vision, hearing and mobility, be able to stand for long periods of time outdoors and to communicate well with others.

It is critical that a guard can communicate clearly with the children he or she supervises at the crossing. If a guard cannot adequately read or understand English, training materials must be provided in a language in which the guard is proficient. Ideally, a guard should have good English language skills.

Adult school crossing guard training is an essential step to help insure that the guard is performing properly. Training should be extended to substitute guards as well as those who supervise the crossing guards. Training methods include both classroom instruction and field exercises and should address:

  • The basic traffic laws of the community.
  • School zone signage and pavement markings.
  • Proper use and purpose of traffic signs and signals.
  • Methods of signaling drivers and taking advantage of traffic gaps.
  • Crossing procedures and ways to teach them to children.
  • Site-specific traffic factors and potential traffic hazards.
  • Professional work responsibilities, including agency rules and regulations, who the guard's supervisor is, the proper chain of command and legal aspects of the job.
  • Proper attire and behavior to remain safe and to project a positive public image. For example, while on the job, a guard should not wear clothing that is in poor taste or that promotes alcohol, tobacco or similar products. Also, a guard should not carry or use tobacco products or use foul language. Adult school crossing guards project a positive public image and serve as a role model for children. (For more information see Uniforms and Equipment)
  • Proper use of safety equipment.
  • The safety issues and limitations of children as pedestrians.
  • Procedures for crashes involving adult school crossing guards and children on their way to or from school.
  • Emergency procedures. (For specific information see When an emergency situation arises under Crossing procedures)
  • Protecting the health and welfare of the guard while working, including topics such as proper attire to increase visibility, the need for hydration, sun protection, bee sting treatment and how to respond to threats from loose dogs.

Training in Florida

The State of Florida's Department of Transportation has developed uniform training guidelines, and each local government in Florida that administers a school crossing guard program is required to provide training for its guards according to the guidelines. For more information visit http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/ped_bike/brochures/pdf/SCG%20Training%20Guidelines2009.pdf

Training in North Carolina

According to the office of the North Carolina Attorney General, school crossing guards may be considered traffic control officers when proper training is provided as specified in North Carolina GS 20-114.1, the law that addresses the training and appointment of traffic control officers. In 1998, The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation developed a program to train the local law enforcement officers who are responsible for training adult school crossing guards in their jurisdictions.