2009-09-05 / Editorials & Letters

Writer concerned about young children having to walk to school

Editor:

After the first day of school I called the Lakewood Schools administrative office to see if it can be arranged for Hebron children to be picked up by a bus instead of walking to Hebron Elementary to catch a bus to go the other schools. I have a 11 year-old grandaughter that has to walk from the Village Square Apartments on Lakewood Drive to the elementary school every morning at 6:30 by herself to catch a bus to the middle school. At this time of year, it's light out when she leaves, but soon it will be dark at that time of the morning. It scares me to death to have her or any child walking by themselves with all of the sex offenders and other situations that go on on a regular basis in all areas now. But I was told that they could not pick up these children because they do not have the resources to do so.

Obviously our kids' safety means very little to them. But they did begin picking up some Hebron kids so they would not have to cross U.S. 40 or Ohio 79 which was great. All children within half a mile from the school ( I was also told it was two miles, but I could not verify this) must walk to catch the bus at Hebron - all ages!! But we have watched busses pass by the Village Square Apartments to pick up the children on Kelly Court which is just across the street, because they are farther away. The bus also is able to drop our kids off in the afternoon at the corner of U.S. 40 and Lakewood Drive, but that pick up just can't happen!!

So my question is and has been since my children were in school is why do these people have to pay the same amount of taxes for our schools as others if we do not get the same privileges as everyone else? Our busses travel as far away as southeast Newark- Blue Jay Road, close to Kirkersville, Brownsville, Thornville and Heath, but we can't help the kids that are less than a half a mile away. But we still have to pay the same tax rate as others. Wasn't a new levy passed several years ago for bussing? Remember they quit bussing the high schools students!!!!!

I was also told that it is the parents of these kids who have the responsibility to get them back and forth safely, not the school's. What about those parents who work and only have one car so the other parent does not have that luxury? And most have another younger child, that would have to be walked back and forth also, even in the middle of winter. These few students are really getting the raw end of this whole ordeal. There are not a lot of parents, but I believe we all should get together and stand up for the rights and safety of our kids and get bussing or call our state representatives to pay less taxes. Cheryl Phillips Hebron

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