Unsung Heroes: A crossing guard’s daily impact


Ella Peabody

Moore immersed himself in the action, stopping traffic for yet another student.

Through thick and thin, wind and rain—when thunder rolls and sleet drizzles—Fort Thomas roads continue to stay busy, particularly during the early morning and after-school bustle. Throughout the community, whether it’s new drivers or experienced drivers cruising the pavement, roads can be treacherous. 

 At Highlands High School (HHS), though, students have added protection from the real world, the roadways. In many cases students, with academics, extracurricular activities, or other stressors on their minds can simply cross the street without a thought—not taking into account the person in neon standing humbly beside them, weathering the daily storm, with a constant dedication to the school and its people’s safety. 

Jason Moore, long time crossing guard at HHS, said his job is about safety and that alone. 

“It is very important because it keeps the kids safe…that’s why I do it,” he said.

According to HHS Principal John Darnell, Moore’s job, because of its source of extensive protection, is as, if not more crucial for HHS students.

“People don’t pay attention to the lights when they flash, we have hundreds of kids that utilize that crosswalk every day.”

And though it seems students don’t often recognize the influence that this job holds, according to Moore, “a lot, not all” of HHS pupils thank him each morning and afternoon while crossing the street.

This is still often an unacknowledged job by many students.

Senior Caleb Lindsey said that perhaps one reason why there is less recognition is the result of students following in the footsteps of their friends around them.  

“Though I try to thank Mr. Moore as much as I can, I sometimes forget, I think that’s the same for a lot of people, we don’t see others paying attention and follow our peers”. 

Jennifer Forgy, assistant principal for HHS said that for students it may also be a matter of simple forgetfulness. 

 “Often people are more worried about being inconvenienced and forget that the guard is looking in different directions and trying to maintain safety for the walkers and the bicyclists, as well as those in cars.”

However, it’s not just HHS students that may sometimes lack in showing their appreciation. 

Abigail McCoy, Algebra 1 teacher said that perhaps it’s just as important for teachers to reflect upon this resource, as well as just the students. 

 “I think that all people (grown-ups included) can forget that our crossing guards are human beings, not just robots. In our 21st century world, so much is done with robot-like tools (self-checkout, Alexa/Google Voice, etc.), that sometimes people genuinely forget that the person stopping traffic for them to cross safely is a human being with feelings just like them.”

McCoy adds that much can be done to thank HHS staff.

“A simple thank you, smile, or ‘have a good day’ can go a long way to make our crossing guards feel that they are appreciated and that their job is an important one at our school.”

HHS crossing guards are a daily boost in the lives of Fort Thomas pedestrians and students. They are community protectors, holding children’s lives in their hands, with the utmost care and responsibility, portraying two different identities for this purpose, the strength of a hero and the heart of a human.