Parents push for more safety precautions after Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School left with no crossing guard

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Parents express frustration after a dangerous crossing outside of the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School in South Philadelphia has no guard.

They say it endangers the safety of children.

“These children will be seriously injured. It’s a mess out here,” said another parent, Elaina Lionelli.

Parents say there was a border guard at the beginning of the school year, but not for long. This guard post was removed and not replaced after multiple complaints from parents.

Parents say there hasn’t been a signalman in sight for weeks.

The area is full of cars and children trying to make their way across the street. Charter school maintenance workers are helping to fill the gap.

“Several times I’ve grabbed my daughter, literally picked her up and had to dodge other cars,” said parent Tito Bryson.

Parents tell Action News that they have contacted the school, the police and even the office of 2nd Circuit Councilor Kenyatta Johnson.

A spokesman for Johnson’s office told Action News that they had started work immediately to resolve the issue and a new border patrol would begin on Tuesday.

“It is unacceptable that there is no border guard outside of this school. After our office was notified of this, we worked diligently to get the 1st Precinct Police Department to assign a border guard to this area,” Johnson said in a statement to Action News.

There is still ongoing pressure to hire border guards across the city.

Police have previously said they were seriously undermanned when it came to border crossings.

In December 2021, the Philadelphia Police Department told Action News that it had its lowest border patrol percentage to date.

Of the 1,000 corners, only 650 were occupied.

On Thursday, the updated figures were not shared with Action News, but parents say an officer was present during Thursday afternoon’s school dismissal.

“We were told we would have a police station and a police presence. Because we got the message asking why nothing is happening, we finally got someone here days later,” Bryson said.

Charter school staff say another major safety issue they are working on is duplicate on-street parking by parents.

The director of school security last week sent a note to all parents and staff, saying in part:

“Too many parents linger in their cars in front of school and/or double park on Broad Street. This causes major security problems. I have been personally notified that violators will be issued fines. It is imperative that you pull up in front of the school, drop off your child and leave immediately. The school will have staff outside to help students get to school.”

Philadelphia residents can apply to be a School Crossing Guard at or The application is entirely online.

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