I've always driven my kids to school before this, and I think I've been fairly respectful of young pedestrians (though not always of crossing guards, one of whom seemed to time his trips to eliminate any hope of a left turn at a busy intersection). Now that my kids are walking to school, though, I'm noticing what an unsafe situation it is, even in these days when everybody's talking big about Child Obesity and Global Warming and The Tragedy of Kids No Longer Walking to School.
For my kids, the problem is the main
I'm not expecting them to put out a crossing guard to hold the hands of teenagers as they make their way to school. But a crosswalk would both show kids one safe place to cross -- rather than darting randomly through traffic, as they do now -- and show parents, at least theoretically, that here's a spot where they need to slow down.
As it is, I have to walk my son to school, because no way could I trust him to not cross unsafely (or, for that matter, stop in the middle of the roadway to look at an interesting rock). On my way home today, I saw the high-school principal standing outside without armed guards or anything, and went up to make my case about a crosswalk. He listened for a few minutes, then gave me that "Parent, you have overstated your case" eye-glaze that professionals get, so who knows if it will do any good.
But if you drive your kid to school, next time you're driving through a school parking lot, slow the heck down, wouldja? Some of us are trying to cross here.