• Who are the Blue Coats?

    Picture shows two members of the Blue Coats peacekeeping initiative walking with a smiling male student.

    Members of the Blue Coats, a group of volunteer peacekeepers who have been working since 2004 to defuse violence and promote safety among students and in the neighborhoods surrounding our schools, are an integral part of our mission at Erie's Public Schools to keep students safe. The men and women in now-familar blue vests have become trusted friends and mentors, touchstones for the students as they arrive and depart school each day. 

    Daryl Craig, the founder of the Blue Coats, summarized the group's purpose in a 2015 interview with the Erie Times-News, in which he reminisced about a woman who took care of him as a teenager. That woman told him that the whole world was responsible for children, he said - a version of the maxim that "it takes a village" to raise a child.

    “I believe that,” Craig said. “We either pick them up or let them down. Either way, we are responsible. They operate in a world we create. The mission of the Blue Coats is to create heaven wherever we go - to create a positive world for the children. You do that by telling them how great they are and how great they can become.”

    Interested in learning more? Want to join the effort? Send an email to bluecoats814@gmail.com with your contact infromation and someone from the group will get in touch.