Crossing Guard Suspended for Texting Mayor About Crosswalk

RUNNEMEDE, N.J. (AP) -

A southern New Jersey town suspended a crossing guard for two days after she texted the town’s mayor to get a snow-covered crosswalk cleared.

Gina Bowne said she was punished for insubordination by breaking the chain of command when she texted Runnemede Mayor Nick Kappatos.

“I was kind of surprised I was getting suspended for doing my job to the best of my ability, and try to keep other people’s children safe,” said Bowne, who’s been a crossing guard for 16 years.

Her normal point of contact wasn’t working Monday, so she got in touch with the mayor, who told her he’d take care of it. Kappatos said he forwarded the message to public works.

“My first thought was the kids’ safety,” Bowne said. “I called who I thought would get it done the fastest.”

The police chief said it’s a personnel issue, and he won’t comment on it, but the town said it has procedures that employees are required to follow.

Parents supporting Bowne said she shouldn’t be suspended for trying to do her job.

“That’s her job, if she doesn’t do that is she failing our kids?” parent Karen Impagliazzo said. “I feel like she’s being wrongfully punished.”

A petition supporting Bowne is expected to be presented to the borough council next week.