Letter to the editor

Posted 9/7/09

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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Letter to the editor


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 attention.

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.

Lisa Fugit

Lone Tree


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