November bond election could keep LISD students out of danger - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/21/10

November bond election could keep LISD students out of danger

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A November bond election could keep LISD students out of trouble and out of danger. LISD has heard several complaints of high school students jaywalking across busy streets during their open lunch break, but the upcoming bond could close the campuses for lunch.

Currently LISD high school students can come and go as they please during their lunch break. KCBD found many of those students dangerously jaywalking and carelessly sprinting in between oncoming traffic disregarding the safety for themselves and the drivers; a common problem among schools with open lunches.

Two of those students were stuck in the middle of a turn lane with traffic rushing on both sides of them. Finally after several minutes they were able to run to the other side of the street.

"Anytime you have an open campus scenario there are going to be inherent problems. The majority entails the great increase of pedestrian traffic by young people and teens," said LISD Chief of Police Mark Hinshaw.

Jaywalking during open lunches isn't the only problem LISD Police are dealing with. "Complaints we've gotten are fighting, some alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.  But from day one we've experienced fist fights on a very regular basis occurring between students that are going to and from lunch," said Hinshaw.

In response to these complaints, LISD Police have patrolled the problem areas more, but they say it's keeping the students at arm's length that will do the job. "We propose that we close the campuses for lunch and this is a big piece of the bond package that's going before voters in November," said Hinshaw.

Within the multimillion dollar bond package, LISD has allotted $25 million for safety projects including expanding the high school cafeterias to accommodate all the students. This means students would be forced to stay on campus for lunch, keeping them off the streets.

"We feel very strongly from a safety and security point of view this will greatly enhance student safety and that we won't have students racing to and from lunch in their vehicles," said Hinshaw. "We won't have them out there walking along these busy streets."

Not all students we saw during lunch were breaking the law. Several were using the cross walk correctly, but if you ever see any students breaking the law LISD Police ask that you contact them at (806)766-1193 so they can take care of the situation.

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