As schools raise private funds, commissioner pushes for crossing guards

Parents from at least two schools in Hillsborough County are raising private funds to hire a private crossing guard company.  Mulrennan Middle School in Lithia recently raised thousands for their own; now Rodgers Middle is following suit.

“We are going to take it on now," said Meredith Bippen, a Rodgers parent. "Our student safety is our number-one priority right now."

In Hillsborough County, the sheriff's office provides crossing guards to all elementary schools, but middle and high schools are not included.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White is taking the issue to his fellow commissioners.

“What I’m going to ask for tomorrow at the commission meeting is for a detailed study to take a look at the feasibility of offering a middle school crossing guard program," White said.

Not only that, he wants to look into funding sources to pay for the program.

"What’s really brought this to a head for me was seeing a local middle school privately raise the dollars,” he said.

Bippen is optimistic, but she says something else has to come with it.

“And right here is where we'd like to have a crosswalk for our students to cross safely, but as you can see right now, we don't have one," she added.

Bippen and other parents estimated that the cost for one crossing guard at Rodgers Middle School, for the rest of the year, will be close to $5,000.