Saturday, October 17, 2009

The School Patrol


“Hey kid! You wanna get reported?” boomed the voice of the dreaded “school patrol.” No matter which route you took they were always there in their yellow and white belts that went around the waist and over one shoulder, and that big red and white octagonal hand-held sign that said “STOP!” You could not cross the street without them. Drivers respected them. I never heard of one of them getting run down by a motorist. Of course, this was Minneapolis in the 1940s and not California in the present day.

Today they have “crossing guards.” They are usually retired individuals. They still have the hand held STOP signs, but not those cool belts with shoulder straps. Our “patrols” were kids like us, only a little older. I never got to be one of the elite, although I did achieve the status of “hall monitor,” which I mentioned yesterday. The school patrols from all the Minneapolis schools were treated to an annual outing at Como Park. I don’t remember a hall monitors picnic but I do remember an all-city-schools event at that same park, lots of hot dogs and little ice cream Dixie cups, three-legged races, gunny-sack races, etc. It must have been in honor of us having made it through the 6th grade (we didn’t have “graduation” ceremonies for everything in those days), celebrating our last year of freedom before going on to the 7th grade prison known as “Lincoln Junior High School,” but that is another story.

I never got reported for crossing without permission, although I did receive a few warnings: “Hey kid! You wanna get reported?”


  1. I noticed there were no girls in the school patrol. Was it because they didn't want to, or were they not asked or perhaps not "accepted"?

  2. The only photo I could find was from 1939. I believe in the 40s we were more enlightened and I do remember some girls as patrol members. MM