Society

Crossing Guard Suspended For Texting Mayor About Snow-Covered Crosswalk

| by Sean Kelly
gina bownegina bowne

A community in New Jersey is standing behind a crossing guard who was suspended for two days because she didn’t follow the chain of command.

Gina Bowne, who’s been a crossing guard in Runnemede, New Jersey, for 16 years, said she decided to do something after snow piled up outside of Bingham Elementary School on Jan. 25 following a blizzard.

“None of the corners were cleared off,” Bowne told WTXF.

“The streets were terrible," she added. "It was a hot mess for parents to drop their children off.”

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Bowne decided to text Runnemade mayor Nick Kappatos to inquire about snow removal — something she reportedly shouldn’t have done.

“I sent him a text at 9:22," she said. "22 minutes into my work day. And I got suspended for 2 days for doing that."

She subsequently received a letter informing her of the suspension.

“I understand I broke the rules," Bowne said. "I'll be the first to admit it. But I think in those circumstances it was OK to break the rules. I don't feel I should be punished for it."

The mayor said Bowne should have known the right person to call, but she told reporters that her boss was off that day so she wasn’t able to follow the chain of command. 

“My first thought was the kids' safety,” she said, according to Newsday. “I called who I thought would get it done the fastest."

The town of Runnemade said in a statement that there are “specific procedures employees are required to follow to report situations they believe may constitute a threat to the health, welfare or safety of the general public or themselves," WTXF notes.

A petition in support of Bowne is expected to be presented to the borough council.

Sources: WTXF, Newsday / Photo credit: WTXF

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