South Jordan Elementary Safety Patrol Takes OathNov 06, 2015 11:12AM ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama
In September, about 50 South Jordan Elementary sixth-graders, in front of their peers and families, took an oath promising to keep the duties of their position on the school safety patrol.
“We had an officer from the South Jordan Police Department come and talk to the students and administer the oath so they realize it’s a responsibility and a privilege to hold this position,” Principal Ken Westwood said.
Sixth-grade teachers Megan Smith and Bonnie Crockett coordinate the safety patrol as an optional opportunity for sixth-graders.
“We wanted to do something special that would help them understand the importance of the job they were doing,” Smith said, adding that Crockett came up with the idea to have the police officer come for the ceremonies. “We felt that having an officer help out with the swearing in would give them the opportunity to hear firsthand from someone also is involved with keeping people safe in the community.”
Since South Jordan Elementary is a year-round school, student volunteers from tracks A and B took part in the ceremony on Sept. 4 and the ceremony was slated for Sept. 25 for tracks C and D.
This is the second year they’ve had students repeat the oath, which includes reporting for duty on time, performing their duties, setting a good example, reporting dangerous situations and striving to prevent accidents, obeying teachers and patrol officers and earning the respect of classmates.
“This makes it more formal and it’s a cool honor to be recognized,” Westwood said.
Smith said that when students sign up to join safety patrol, they make a year-long commitment that involves both before school and after school shifts. Student patrol officers will have duty for about 10 weeks during the year.
In addition, the safety patrol meets every three weeks for about 20 minutes during their lunch recess to discuss any issues and sign up for duty for the next three-week block.
On Mondays of their shift week, students choose from 10 positions they want for the week, from helping at the main crosswalk to others scattered throughout the school grounds to ensure safety.
However, the captain of the week, who sports a special vest, is selected by Smith and Crockett.
“We choose kids for the captain position who have exhibited outstanding behavior both while on safety patrol duty and in the classroom and assign them to that post. In addition to having a regular post for the week, the captain helps to monitor safety patrol members’ attendance at their posts and helps to pass out reminder notes for members who have signed up for duty for the coming week,” Smith said.
Westwood said that students who volunteer for safety patrol learn leadership skills and a sense of duty.
“They know what is expected of them and they become leaders to fulfill their role and responsibility,” he said