Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to express concern over some issues with the Clinton school district and the safety and well-being of the children that attend school there. I have two grandchildren in the school district and am very concerned about a few things that have happened recently.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, my granddaughter was hit by a truck while crossing the street, in the crosswalk, on Yellowjacket lane in front of her house which is right across the street from the Senior Center in Clinton. Luckily she was only a few steps away from the end of the cross walk when a student driver, not paying attention, hit her with his truck. Had she been a few steps earlier she would have suffered more severe injuries. As it is she is suffering from multiple bruises and abrasions and a severe concussion.

What I am most concerned about is why there are no crossing guards for the many students that walk to and from the schools on Yellowjacket lane? I have noticed that the after school traffic coming from the schools is usually slower on Yellowjacket lane as they have already slowed down through the school zones but usually traffic coming toward the schools drive much faster and are less observant in their hurry to get to the schools I guess. All of our schools are right there in the same area, there are a lot of students that live close to the school and do not ride the bus but walk to school. It is my opinion that a flashing light or crossing guard would be most helpful in helping to keep our students safe as the come and go to school. We seem to have money to make all sorts of improvements to the buildings and such but shouldn’t the safety and well-being of our students warrant some consideration and use some of the taxpayer dollars to bring this about?

When I have been in town after school I will walk and meet both the girls on their walk home because I have sat and watched the traffic come and go on Yellowjacket Lane and there are so many drivers that just don’t observe the speed limits through there. There was another incident and the beginning of this school year where an elderly lady wasn’t paying attention at the same cross walk, and thank goodness, my younger granddaughter was paying attention and she ran out of the path of the oncoming car in time and avoided an accident herself. This last October, on Halloween, the Clinton police were out on the streets by the school helping keep an eye on the children and the traffic helping to keep them safe. I was very impressed with this, but how about their everyday safety? What’s being done about that?

Recently I headed to the Junior High to have lunch with the granddaughter that just got hit in the crosswalk and I told the lady at the front desk why I was there. Since I had never been in that office before I knew that I would need my ID so started to reach into my purse to get it. The lady behind the desk asked who my granddaughter was, then proceeded to get on the intercom and call her to the office. I went to show her my ID and she had already turned away from me and was heading into another room. I turned around at that time and saw my granddaughter just outside the office door so headed out to grab her and go to lunch with her. I got onto the Junior High campus without being asked for an ID. I could have been anyone and taken off with that child. The lady didn’t even see if this child recognized me, she was no where to be seen when I took off to lunch with my granddaughter.

I want some answers as to why these things are happening at the schools that my grandchildren attend and how can we keep them from happening again?

Jackie Sikes