Popular Plattsburgh crossing guard returns to post

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - It’s back to school in New York, and back to work for a long-time North Country crossing guard accused of harassing a student last year.

Maurice Daniels, Stafford Middle School’s crossing guard of 20 years, is back in action as the new school year begins. Parents and grandparents say they’re happy to see him in uniform once again. “I’ve never had any problems with Maurice. She loved him to death. He’s awesome, I’m glad he’s back, I really am,” said Melissa Bushey, a parent.

Shortly after being lauded by the community for his service and receiving a $2,000 cash gift back in May, videos surfaced online of Daniels striking a student. He was immediately put on administrative leave.

“I’ve never seen him put his hands on any child at all. He had to have been tormented. I’m sorry to say but he’s such a gentle person. I’ve never heard anything back about him until this happened,” Bushey said.

In response, a new crossing guard training program was instituted for all city crossing guards. It covers topics including de-escalating arguments, first aid, a probation period, and a better communications channel between the guards, the school, and the city. Daniels also needed to attend a victims impact panel to be welcomed back.

Bushey hopes that parents use this incident to teach their children the importance of listening to adults who are trying to keep them safe. “He takes his life into consideration every day, walking into these streets with these vehicles to protect our children to make sure they are safely crossing the road. So, people just need to let their children know to have more respect of what other adults are trying to do for them,” she said.

Daniels declined to speak to us about being back on the job.

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