Got a problem at kids' bus stop? Bring a video camera
Our colleagues over at the Gradebook blog note that parents in Pinellas County have launched a Facebook page to document concerns they've voiced all year: That the increased use of busy intersections with more kids than ever using bus arterial stops is posting safety hazards. Video seems like a good idea for parents in any school district.
Their worries include kids walking miles to a bus stop that has no crossing guard on an extremely busy street in a crowd of dozens of kids. One student was killed in December trying to cross 66th Street to reach her bus. Parents were outraged. They had complained about the district's modified bus system, which concentrated thousands of students at stops on busy roads, since the beginning of the school. The district modified some of the stops and said the complaints dried up, but some parents say they gave up complaining and will try a different tactic.
With increased pressure to cut budgets, schools are trying to find ways to cut their transportation costs. Sometimes that can mean you have groups of kids waiting in the dark on busy streets. The parents hope to take the video evidence before the Pinellas County School Board for review.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne