POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A group of student leaders has emerged at a Poplar Bluff, Mo middle school after the campus relocated to Victory Lane.
There are 25 sixth graders who make up the Safety Patrol, a new organization that is committed to helping walkers stay safe as they walk through Bacon Park before and after school. The team of students works in shifts after school.
"We never had walkers before, so we had to design an exit strategy," said Principal Dr. Brad Owings, referring to the previous location of the school on Oak Grove Road. "It's another way for students to show responsibility and leadership, and be role models."
They line the trail on the hill behind the school to the city park. Several students man a station, and there is one roamer with a cell phone in case there is an emergency. The students wear safety vests and are supplied with gear such as flashlights and hand warmers for the colder days.
After each shift, there is a debriefing meeting for the patrol team with the teacher sponsors, Kathy Pattillo and Kelly Lawson. They also have a monthly meeting as a whole group and have had guest speakers such as school Safety Resource Officer Kenny Carpenter.
"The students take the job very seriously, and it is an honor," said Pattillo, noting that the group has a waiting list.
Lawson added: "These are skills that can carry them through life."