Bus woes a matter of safety This letter is being written in response to the article titled “District Cuts Impact Buses.” It is particularly …
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Bus woes a matter of safety
This letter is being written in response to the article titled
“District Cuts Impact Buses.”
It is particularly troubling that, according to the Douglas
County School District Web site, www.dcsdk12.org, elementary students
may have to walk up to a mile to their stop and that middle school
students will have up to 2 miles to their stop. This is, in turn,
compounded by the fact that the district has elected to combine the
middle school students and the high school students onto the same
bus, and that as a result, the middle schools will be starting
their school day earlier than this past year so that they can start
at the same time as the high schools. This means that come winter
there will be 12- to 14-year-old children walking to and waiting
for their bus in the dark up to 2 miles from home.
Furthermore, it does not seem appropriate to us, as parents, to
put such a wide range of age groups on the same buses, and expect
that there will not be issues of bullying, harassment, or other
intimidation taking place, to say nothing of the subject matters
being discussed by high school age students that will be
inappropriate for middle school students to overhear.
As voters (or stakeholders, as we are often referred to), we
were told that we needed to pass the bonds so that more schools
could be built and so that year-round tracks could be eliminated.
These things are seen as conveniences. However, if the district had
told voters that without the bonds the bus routes would be slashed
into unrecognizable single stops, that music programs would be
eliminated, that cleaning of classrooms would be cut back and that
teachers would be “asked” to retire early so that we could have
more kids in each classroom, I think more people would have paid
Certainly we all understand the need for budget reductions.
However, the Douglas County School District has not simply reduced
the bus budget, they have slashed it by what appears to be 75
percent, a number we find unacceptable. To state, “DCSD strives to
provide the best transportation service possible to families within
budgetary constraints,” seems quite contradictory to what has
actually taken place.
Obviously, with a reduced number of buses, there will be more
kids on each bus and more still as a result of combing the middle
school and high school bus routes. What is the plan if the bus is
full? In some cases, they are trying to fit three high-school
students to a seat. To say that this is unsafe does not begin to
describe the situation.
Finally, it should be understood that bad busing is not a
question of inconvenience, but a question of safety.
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