Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do kids still serve as safety patrol guards in Laredo?

School safety patrols for San Antonio's Lanier elementary circa mid 1960s

To be honest, I don't know if Laredo has any school kids who serve as school safety patrol guards. From what I've been able to gather, this service is now performed mostly by adults who go by the term "crossing guards".

I remember when I was attending Leyendecker elementary school way back when, I was one of the elite. You had to be either a 5th or 6th grader to serve. Yes, back then, elementary school included all the way up to the 6th grade. Also, you were issued a yellow raincoat, a whistle and of course each team (of 3 students) was issued two long bamboo flags.  I vaguely remember that the one serving as the lead guard for any particular week wore some serve of badge and was the one who got to signal (whistle) when to lower and raise the flags.

One of the trappings of power that "patrols" had back then was that they could report anyone who was crossing at unauthorized points or engaging in any other sort of mischief.  Many times, you could convince the would-be-culprit to behave by simply uttering the phrase "Hey!, te voy a reportar! (Hey, I'm gonna report you!)".

Our reward for a full year of dedicated service was the end-of-the-year picnic held at the City of Laredo Waterworks picnic grounds, or as we called it "la planta del agua" at the West end of Jefferson street. That was before fajitas were discovered so I'm pretty sure we had hamburgers or something like that.


  1. Aww, I remember the patrols from Tomas Sancez Elem. I think they used to wear an orange vest or utility belt of some sort. And the poles had a red flag, no?


  2. Yep, red flag and you're right some sort of belt. I think it ran across one's shoulder or something like that-ya se me olvidan muchas cosas.


  3. Awwww... memories. I was a crossing guard too but we didn't get any picnic or even burgers or any kind of reward. Cheapo Garfield School!!