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CPS Crossing Guard Takes Over For Volunteer Neighbor At Busy Intersection, So He’s Heading To Avondale To Help Another School

Robert Magiet spent the past week acting as a volunteer crossing guard at Campbell and Chicago avenues near Chopin Elementary School. Now, an official CPS crossing guard has been assigned to the post.

Robert Magiet gives new crossing guard JonTisha Wilson a few pointers at the intersection of Campbell and Chicago in Ukrainian Village on Nov. 9, 2021
Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Chicago Public Schools has officially assigned a crossing guard to the intersection of Campbell and Chicago avenues in Ukrainian Village.

Crossing guard JonTisha Wilson took her post at the intersection Tuesday morning. She said she’ll be there 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m every weekday.

She’ll be taking over for neighbor Robert Magiet, who began standing in as a volunteer crossing guard at the intersection last Monday.

Magiet was inspired to act after he heard someone was almost hit by a driver at the intersection, just a block from Chopin Elementary School.

“I’m just like, you know what, enough’s enough. Let me go out and see if I can help,” he said last week.

Magiet ordered a stop sign on Amazon and has been at the intersection every morning and afternoon since.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Robert Magiet, local father and restaurateur, serves as a volunteer crossing guard at the busy intersection of Chicago and Campbell avenues in Ukrainian Village on Nov. 4, 2021.

In a statement provided last week, a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said there was a crossing guard at the intersection who left early in the school year. A new person had been hired to fill that position and “will be on site as soon as they are properly onboarded,” the spokesman said.

“One of the Chicago Public Schools’ top priorities is to ensure the safety and security of all our students. There will be CPS crossing Guard at the intersection this morning,” the spokesperson wrote in an email Tuesday.

Wilson said she began training as a crossing guard Oct. 27 on the West Side. She’s working the part-time job while attending cosmetology school.

“I like to talk to kids, interact with them, I’ve got kids of my own so I think it’s going to be fun,” Wilson said.

On Tuesday morning, Magiet stood with Wilson at Chicago and Campbell and gave her pointers on the intersection. Next, he’ll head to another location in need of a crossing guard: an intersection near Linne Elementary School in Avondale.

Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
New CPS crossing guard JonTisha Wilson helps a family cross the street at Campbell and Chicago avenues in Ukrainian Village on Nov. 9, 2021

Since Block Club’s original story ran last week, Magiet said he’s heard from people all over the city about dangerous traffic conditions in their own neighborhoods — and how more crossing guards are direly needed.

“This isn’t about bashing CPS. This is about all of our elected officials and people that work for the government that are making money off taxpayer dollars — do their jobs,” he said.

Last week, Magiet launched a GoFundMe to hire a volunteer as a semi-permanent crossing guard at Chicago and Campbell.

So far, it’s raised more than $2,000. Magiet said he could now use the money to pay someone to stand in at other busy intersections in the neighborhood.

“I feel good that there’s a crossing guard here,” Magiet said. “But I think that the crossing guard is really only here because of the media attention, I don’t think there’s any sense of urgency. I don’t think that they’re listening to what parents have to say.”

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