Meet 1 of Canada's favourite school crossing guards, a North Vancouver DJ
Christian Behnke says it’s frightening how many parents use their phones while driving
Christian Behnke, a DJ who goes by the name "Tall Music," didn't know the full extent of what he was getting into when he first agreed to volunteer as a school crossing guard.
He was already walking his children to Cleveland Elementary School in North Vancouver every day and thought the job would just entail standing around, stopping cars and putting out the occasional cone.
"But it's more than that. It's helping the kids and teaching them to be part of the school community," Behnke told CBC's Margaret Gallagher.
He was named as one of three winners of Canada's favourite crossing guards, an annual competition sponsored by the national injury-prevention charity, Parachute.
"He just has a great sort of chill, relaxed personality," said Jeneen Sutherland, a parent at the school who nominated Behnke for the award.
Every day, Behnke works with a small group of school children to help stop traffic and make the street crossings safer. About 45 children are involved in the traffic program and take turns doing the shifts.
"We'll essentially have a dance party right out here in front of the school and I think all kids love that," Sutherland said. "He's really made it a robust program."
'They've blown right by me'
Chris Montgomery and Everett Lowry are two of the children who work with Behnke.
"He gives us nice lessons on what we have to do," Chris said. "My duty is to make sure that the signs go up when no cars are here."
But it's not all fun and games.
"Put your phones down," Everett said. "[Some parents] go way too fast. I hold up my stop sign and they've blown right by me."
Behnke said it's frightening to see parents driving with their phones in their hand, especially knowing their own children are walking through the school zone.
"I'm not a bylaw officer and I'm not the police, but, oh man, it's nice when they come out and everyone behaves." he said.
The other two winners of the award are from Ontario.