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Kitty Dunn

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Look both ways

safetycadet_web1 Remembering my days as a safety cadet In the Madison area, the responsibility of helping kids get safely across the street seems to be entrusted mostly to grown-ups. When I was growing up in Stevens Point, we relied on other tiny, young, distracted kids to do the job. At least if you look at the example I set. When I was in 4th grade, I signed up to be a safety cadet, otherwise known as a crossing guard. I got to wear a groovy day-glo orange belt, with a shiny badge attached. And one week out of every four, I had to get up early to get to my post before most of the kids walking to school. My favorite part of this assignment was yelling "On duty" really loud to start my shift, and then getting to yell "Off duty" when I was finished. But most of the job entailed looking both ways and telling kids when it was safe to cross the street. I was also allowed to "report" kids that were doing something wrong, like riding their bikes on the sidewalk, running, or jaywalking. But it turns out my authority was mostly in my head. Case in point: when one bully decided to ride his bike up close to me and spit right at me. I told him he was "on report," and then followed through. I told the safety cadet supervisor about the transgression, and she said "What am I supposed to do about it?" "Maybe draw and quarter him, or behead him and display his head on the end of a stick?"  That's what I wish I would have said. Instead I just stood there in disbelief, and abandoned all dreams of a future career in law enforcement.

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09/01/2009 4:00AM
Look both ways
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09/01/2009 7:48AM
Donna
OMG, you are so cute and tiny. I remember when I went to elementary school in Milwaukee we had this lady who was a crossing guard but thought it was stupid cuz we had stop and go lights, so what the heck? I knew the crossing lady's son, he was weird too ha. DBD
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