Dust Not Yet Settled On Some Bus StopsSep 22nd, 2011 | By Lynette | Category: Editorials, Front Page
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
After the Bus Stop Controversy that plagued the last School Board meeting of Sept. 6, a handful of parents reappeared before the Board Tuesday evening to restate their cases, saying that the concerns they had raised at the earlier meeting still had not been addressed.
Susan McCool of Lee brought her two children with her to show the Board “what I’m dealing with,” i.e., that her youngest daughter was not capable of walking the lengthy distance to the bus stop, and stated that the child was still being dropped off in the afternoons, alone, in a deserted rural area with access to an open boat ramp. Her older son, who is autistic, rides on a different bus on a different schedule with a stop in yet another location.
Because of the safety concerns, and the fact that McCool’s daughter also has an A.I.P designation (although she was initially deemed ineligible to ride the special transportation bus) the Board made an exception and ruled that the little girl could now ride the same bus as her brother.
Shirley Agner was also dissatisfied with the current bus stop situation, saying that no one had gotten back in touch with her after she had raised her concerns at the last meeting. Agner questioned why a bus that came part of the way down the road and turned around in a privately-owned peanut field, could not come the rest of the way down that road – about another mile – and pick up her children as well as several others, in a place where there was adequate room for the bus to turn around.
Agner was also puzzled as to why, even though she still had a Lee address after moving to a new home, she was now considered to be part of the Pinetta school zone. Superintendent Lou Miller explained that school zones were mapped out by population and did not always correspond to the Postal Service’s addressing system, and assured Agner that the District had attempted to find empty slots in the Lee Elementary School for her children, but there weren’t any left. The fact that some of Agner’s nearest neighbors had their children going to Lee was probably because it was a “school of Choice” and the neighbor may have signed her children up during a “window of opportunity” when there were some empty slots available.
Ivan Johnson agreed to go out to bus stop area Agner had brought into question, to see if there was a better solution that could be worked out for everyone.