FLOUR BLUFF, Texas — Marco Gonzalez graduated from Flour Bluff ISD in 2000. For the last eight years, he has been making sure kids can cross safely at the intersection of Waldron Rd. and Hustlin Hornet Dr. in Flour Bluff.
“I enjoy helping the kids and all that,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just looking for traffic, making sure they’re stopping and paying attention, and looking for kids so they know which way to cross.”
On Tuesday, Tina Marquez was returning from dropping her kids off at school, when she saw a car that was moving towards the intersection while children were crossing the road. She said Gonzalez put his body in between the car and the children crossing. The car did not come close to hitting Gonzalez nor the children, but Marquez took to Facebook to praise him for his actions.
“Today, I witnessed him try and lay his life down to protect those children. Today, I witnessed a Hero and it was beautiful,” Marquez said in her post.
Apparently that was not the first time a parent saw Gonzalez willing to risk his life for a student, and the post went viral. As of Thursday, Marquez’s post was shared 240 times, with 52 comments, and 287 reactions praising Gonzalez.
“I read that he’s one of those guys who’s willing to lay his life down for the children, it doesn’t matter to him what that looks like. Apparently he really loves his job and it shows. He’s extremely loyal to the kids, and you can gather that by looking at all the shares, and all the comments,” Marquez said.
One of those comments was from Jeff Panknin, the father of five Flour Bluff students.
“If there’s a car coming and he’s got the stop sign and there are kids crossing, he will throw his body in front of the kids to block the traffic,” he said. “I have never not seen him there in the morning, I don’t know if the guy just never has a sick day, or what. But, he’s there every single morning.”
Another commenter, Mallary Kitchen, does not have kids at Flour Bluff, but lives by the school and frequently walks by with her six month old son, her brother attends Flour Bluff High School, and her daughter will attend kindergarten at Flour Bluff next year.
“I’ve seen him just out in front of cars to make sure they are stopping, to get the kids across safely. It’s pretty incredible to see somebody, who personally doesn’t know all these children, take into their hands the responsibility of keeping them safe,” Kitchen said.
With Gonzalez out at the intersection every day, parents feel safe with their kids going to school knowing there is someone there making sure they stay safe.
“Parents don’t always know that their children are safe. So, to know that we have a crossing guard who is in his spot, day in, day out, good weather and bad weather, is pretty awesome,” Marquez said.
“One day, when my daughter does have to cross that crosswalk, I hope he’s still there. He does an amazing job serving the community, and Flour Bluff ISD,” Kitchen said.
Gonzalez said he was grateful for the praise he received from parents, but was a little embarrassed, as he said he was just doing his job.
Gonzalez said he enjoys work most when the kids are dressed up or in a good mood. His favorite times to work are Halloween, Christmas, and homecoming; and he loves his job overall.
“What’s the old saying? If you enjoy what you do, you’re not actually working, and I enjoy what I do. It’s not actually a job for me, it’s just something I enjoy,” he said.