The coveted orange vest…
SAFETY PATROL Greg Calhoun and Jared Barron are two of 15 Carver Middle School safety patrols who come to school between 6 and 6:30 a.m. to pick up trash, direct students and escort teachers from the parking lot. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 1, 2000
It's still dark when Brandon Davis leaves his home to walk to school each day.
The Carver Middle School seventh-grader doesn't mind braving the cold in the early morning hours to perform his duties as a safety patrol.
Davis is one of 15 safety patrol students in a program created by Principal Robert Markham and former Assistant Principal James Bounds.
When the program first started, only the "good" kids were chosen to be safety patrols.
The boys are quick to agree.
If a safety patrol gets into trouble, he knows he could lose his coveted orange vest the equivalent of a police officer turning in his gun and badge.
Davis said the job motivates them to behave.
Markham said the program gives students a sense of importance and self-control, since they are responsible for helping adults and overseeing the actions of their schoolmates.
Greg Calhoun arrives at school early each morning to help his teacher carry her books and supplies to class. Rough and tough and pint-sized Josh Cavenaugh "makes sure no one plays around in the bathroom."
Earl Cooley comes to school early to pick up trash on campus. Jeremy Clay directs students to breakfast or to the gym each morning, and opens the doors as he greets incoming teachers. Calhoun and Jared Barron raise the flag each morning.
Each boy has a different and equally important task that transforms their so-called "bad boy" attitudes into those of true gentlemen.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.