Ever since this decision was made, I have been bombarded with stories from families directly affected and their supporters. Tonight, they will ask the Board of Education to put childrens safety first by reinstating school bus service.
Although Morrow resident “Dee” has transportation to get her children to school, she supports reinstating bus service for parents without alternatives. “The State Pardon Parole and Probation Office where criminals of all kind report, including people with a history of violent crimes, is two blocks away from Jackson Elementary and one block from Jonesboro High School,” says Dee. “This is the number one concern of ALL parents in my community.”
Recently, parent LaSaundra Algeré could only listen as strangers offered her children car rides. “I gave directions over the phone to say “No thanks” and keep walking. Suddenly, I was talking to an adult who then asked if it would be okay to give my children a ride seeing as she had already given them a ride the day prior,” says Algeré, who works a full-time job along with her husband and can not take the kids to and from school. “I had no prior knowledge of this ride nor did I give my consent. I no longer trust this area nor my childrens’ judgment to walk to school alone.”
Other concerns include lack of sidewalks, insufficient lighting and large trucks and other vehicles traveling along our major roadways. “Early morning is when most trucks travel (on Southlake Parkway) and this places the students whom are walking at risk, especially when there are no sidewalks,” adds Dee. With daylight savings time fast approaching on November 7, walking will become even more dangerous for students with no transportation options.
“Children are exposed not only to the elements, traffic, and road conditions, but also to over  registered sexual offenders clustered in Clayton’s communities where kids are walking,” says 40-year resident Alicia Schneider, who hopes to work with the BOE to mobilize available parents to start a Neighborhood Walk (similar to a neighborhood watch). “I believe both the parents and BOE share responsibility. If we can get parents to act as escorts/chaperones and scout for potential road hazards, we can protect our kids.”
Connect with other concerned CCPS parents on Facebook by “friending” Clayco Parent.
UPDATE: Last night BOE voted 6-3 not to reinstate school bus service.