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HomeNewsArchivesCrossing Guard 'Sickout' a Mystery, Union Says

Crossing Guard 'Sickout' a Mystery, Union Says

Oct. 15, 2004 – Public Safety officials dispatched police officers to traffic intersections throughout St. Thomas Thursday as school crossing guards failed to report for duty for the second day in a row.
Police spokesman, Sgt. Thomas Hannah said little was known about the reason most of the island's crossing guards failed to report for duty. Crossing guards are responsible for helping students in public schools safely traverse intersections as they travel to and from classes daily.
"A number of them did not report for duty. On Wednesday they reported sick," Hannah said Thursday, adding that more sick calls were logged the following day.
As a contingency, Deputy Police Chief Elvin Fahie asked area commanders to reassign officers on Veteran's Drive at the seaplane crosswalk, near the Joseph Gomez Elementary School, in the area of Sub Base, at Centerline Road near McDonalds, and near the annex of J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School.
Union officials on Friday said they were not sure why St. Thomas crossing guards did not show up for work on Wednesday and Thursday while their counterparts on St. Croix and St. John stayed on the job.
"I have no idea other than what I read in the paper. I don't know what to tell you," Eugene Irish, president of the Seafarer's Union, which represents crossing guards locally, said.
Friday's dismissal of public schools to accommodate a scheduled teacher's workshop freed police of the need to provide further coverage for the week. The police spokesman said officials hoped the situation would be rectified by the scheduled resumption of classes on Monday.
"At the present time we are not aware of any situation that has come up from the school crossing guards. We are waiting to hear from them to find out if there is a problem. Employees are permitted by law to take advantage of sick leave. Once they go beyond three days of being out sick they will have to produce medical certification as to the reasons why they were out sick," the spokesman said.

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