Automatic federal spending cuts will soon affect Fort Bragg families with school children.
Fort Bragg announced this week, "Starting Monday, April 8, soldiers will no longer be serving as school crossing guards on post. This action is necessary due to the realignment of soldiers to support tasking in response to budget constraints."
A Facebook post from Fort Bragg quoted the head public affairs officer on base.
"We are aware that this is a controversial action, but we have to reassign the soldiers who were crossing guards back to their units or to other areas once provided by our civilian work force in order to reduce the cost of operating the post," said Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Officer. "We ask our parents to assist the schools by volunteering to help at their child's school."
Many parents responded to the post with concerns that the change would mean their children would have to cross busy roads by themselves.
One mother who used to live on base told WNCN on Friday that many children at Fort Bragg walk to school because several residential areas are close to the schools.
Jessica Akers is now a first grade teacher with her own school-aged children. She said she's seen the need for crossing guards first-hand. She agreed with the effort to get parents to volunteer as crossing guards. She understands why parents would worry if they cannot figure out how to have an adult at the crosswalks.
"It requires parents either to walk their children all the way to school, or it requires that students be more responsible, but the same time you also have to think about drivers," Aker said. "While there are very responsible drivers sometimes, sometimes there are drivers who don't abide by the laws."
Some parents also posted online they would like to have more time before the crossing guards are reassigned. This week is spring break for students, so the parents are not sure they will be able to get volunteers in place by Monday.