PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A crossing guard in Runnemede says she was suspended for two days without pay for texting the Mayor Monday morning to ask for assistance in removing snow from the crosswalks at Bingham Elementary School.
Gina Bowne told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that she only went to Mayor Nick Kappatos after not getting a response to previous requests for help.
“Monday morning, I got to work after the storm, noticed the crosswalks were all completely covered with snow, tried to follow the chain of command by calling Public Works, couldn’t get anybody. Next best thing, call the Mayor. I know he can get a hold of them…I texted the Mayor. A simple text message. Can you tell me who to contact to get some help to get these crosswalks cleared?”
She stated the suspension is clearly for the text and not concealed behind any other regulation.
“Two days later, I got called into the Chief of Police’s office and I was handed a notice of suspension for two days for insubordination. It directly states on my suspension letter for texting Mayor Nick Kappatos at 9:22 am.”
Bowne said the community united to support her and she hopes the suspension is overturned.
“The township people have really come together for me. I think we have over 600 signatures right now on a petition of the town people appealing my suspension and asking it to be rescinded and for them to have to pay me and a public apology.”
The following statement was posted on the Borough of Runnemede’s Facebook page:
“The Borough of Runnemede and the Runnemede Police Department are committed to maintaining a safe environment for the public, especially in matters involving our children.
The Borough of Runnemede and the Runnemede Police Department have in place specific procedures employees are required to follow to report situations they believe may constitute a threat to the health, welfare, or safety of the general public or themselves.
These procedures enable the Borough of Runnemede to provide a proper, coordinated, emergency response to situations as quickly as possible.
Employees are instructed as to these procedures and their obligation to follow them.
Additionally, the Borough of Runnemede does not comment on employee personnel matters, but can confirm that reports on social media stating a Borough of Runnemede Crossing Guard was fired are inaccurate.”