Feb 9, 2010

The "S" stands for Safety Girl

An old friend from elementary school days reminded me about something that I had totally forgotten.  When I was in the fifth or sixth grade I applied to be a safety boy.  I think I was the first girl to do it.  A girl standing guard at the crosswalks was unheard of back then.  But the time was ripe for a gender revolution among the ranks of the Tinkham Elementary Safeties.  Bras were being burned.  Bacon was being earned and fried up in a pan.

They let us join and gave us our orange patrol belts.   Those belts, for the record, are the stupidest contraptions.   Difficult to put on and adjust.  A vest would have been much more practical and visible.  I got the post at the street right in front of the school.

This friend seems to have romanticized it a bit.  She used the word "advocated".  I'm sure I didn't advocate anything back in those days.  Except maybe for twinkies in my lunch bag.  It was really just my desire to spend a few extra minutes every day away from the classroom. 

They had to start calling us safety patrols after that instead of safety boys.


  1. Way to go! You were on the cutting edge.

  2. I am so envious. I wanted more than anything to be one. We had both boys and girls share guard duty and my dream was to be a patrol girl. Actually I only wanted to wear the orange belt. It was like a badge of honor, but I never got the chance.

  3. You go girl!..Future historians will record that the entire women's movement began because Christine wanted to get out of class.

  4. there is no higher rung on the status ladder of elementary school than being a safety patrol. You were a most important person. You broke the safety patrol glass ceiling. maybe you are in a history book somewhere.

  5. Good for you!--you ROCK! *grin* I didn't know that girls weren't allowed to do that until YOU stepped in. *smiles*

  6. Funny how other people put motives into what you did. How many kids think about being advocates

  7. I was a boy scout in high school, lighting fires and camping was way more fun than crocheting like the girl scouts did....just 'cause you're a girl doesn't mean you have to be a delicate flower :)

    sorry your comments on my blog keep getting lost in the blog-o-sphere! I have no idea where they're going!

  8. Alice - Damn straight.

    Rae - the orange belt was over-rated. Clashed with everything I owned.

    Sling - Glad to do my part, even if inadvertently.

    Mom - The safety patrol thing didn't fully counteract the nerdiness of the violin I carried to school two times a week.

    MHP - At least at Tinkham there weren't any. Not sure if it wasn't allowed or just an unspoken thing.

    MC - I didn't argue with them. It was my little secret about just wanting out of class.

    Kate - Good plan on the boy scout thing. More fun and all those cute boys all to yourself. The last comment seems to have stuck.