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No crossing guard for busy street worries parents

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Some parents are upset because there is not a crossing guard on a busy road near the a Richmond charter school.

As a result, Debra Brewer volunteered for months as a crossing guard near the Patrick Henry Charter School, helping students and parents at her granddaughter's school get safely across the street.

But Brewer was told Tuesday morning that she could no longer help after a Patrick Henry  board member had expressed concerns about her safety.

This all started after Richmond police determined there was not enough pedestrian traffic on Semmes Avenue to warrant a crossing guard. That's when Brewer stepped in and started helping kids cross the street.

Brewer said durng the school's first semester, which started in January, there were five accidents. And since Aug. 6, when students returned to class, there has been another accident near the school.

Parents were not happy when they found out Brewer would not be there to help children cross the street.

"It would be really sad to see a child hurt, very bad or even a minor injury, because no one wants to pay for a crossing guard," said Debbie Phinney, a concerned parent.

And Brewer also helped parents dropping off and picking up students get back out on the busy Semmes Avenue, since there is no traffic light.

"It's always been an area of concern and we just want to do something about it before something serious happens," said  Sabrina Beamon, the principal of the Patrick Henry Charter School.

Richmond police stopped by Tuesday afternoon to check out the area again. This after parents said the busy road should make up for the lack of pedestrians, since there are only about 200 students at the school.

Richmond City Council's Marty Jewel agrees and said the charter school is the only elementary school in Richmond located on a state road. 

"We know there are some issues with crossing guards," said Major Steve Drew, with Richmond police. "You can easily see the traffic flow and the kids in the neighborhood crossing back and forth. So its something on going and something we need to resolve."