TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Every day, thousands of Hillsborough County middle school students walk to school without adequate crosswalks and no crossing guards. Parents say that needs to change.
"We can't put that monetary value on a child's life," says Danielle Waymire, who has three children in the district's middle schools.
After considering raising the funds on their own, they caught the county's attention, and now the county is attempting to provide crossing guards at all middle schools, just as it does for elementary schools.
Wednesday, county commissioners took a step in that direction.
“I think I’m hearing this is moving forward, I think we’re going to get there," said Commissioner Stacy White, after hearing the county's preliminary report.
While commissioners seem on board with the idea, a few hurdles remain. One is the price tag. Commissioners will find out how much it will cost come April. The other is a lack of crosswalks.
John Lyons with the county's Public Works Department says they're doing a physical inventory of a lack of crosswalks.
Waymire says a safe route to school isn't much to ask for, and she hopes it doesn't come down to a funding problem.
"Hopefully they can find some places to maybe pull money from, or resources, or just working together," she said.
Time is another concern. If the commission finds the money for crossing guards, they'll be phased in over three years.
“I think that’s only fair to the Sheriff’s office so that he can get everyone hired, get these positions filled," said White.
White says it'll be worth the wait.
“We’re talking about the safety of our kids here," White said. "So we want to make sure we have crossing guards in the right locations near these intersections; we want to make sure they’re striped properly, lighted properly, signalized properly; things like that.”
The schools will be prioritized based on safety needs.