School Safety Patrol Officers Sworn In

Elementary school students are learning leadership and responsibility through keeping their schools safe.

A group of fourth and fifth grade students are being sworn in as the first safety patrol officers at Chaires Elementary School. They will have the job of reminding other students of school safety rules.

Brittany White, a fifth grader on the Chaires Safety Patrol, said, "When I applied I was really hoping I could do this job because I had a special bond with these kids that I helped at the beginning of the school year. I had hoped to see them again."

Leon County schools safety and security officials say a majority of the elementary schools in our area provide safety patrol. Students assist with car and bus pickup and drop-off.

Fifth grader Lilyan Howard already knows how this will benefit her future.

Lilyan said, "I'm going to be a missionary artist when I grow up, or an actor, so I want to learn leadership skills and the ability to be able to drill things into people's heads."

Safety patrol officers will wear a safety belt and a badge during their daily duties. School officials say the patrol responsibilities will teach students leadership skills.

Mary Barber, who started the program at Chaires Elementary, said, "We based their eligibility on citizenship grades. It will help keep the citizenship grades up. For those who don't quite meet the criteria, it may give them the boost to have their citizenship grades go up."

The patrol will be done before and after school hours. Officials say this is one more tool to help keep students safe. The Chaires Safety Patrol will begin next Monday. Students will alternate every nine weeks.