More complaints over school district's decision to cut bus routes closest to schools

Polk City community concerned about dangerous walk

POLK CITY, Fla. - The complaints continue to pour into the Polk County School Board over bus routes cut this year to save money.

Over the summer, the district got rid of 30 routes county wide, where kids live less than two miles from school.

In Polk City, many kids are walking on the side of -- and crossing -- two busy highways in order to get to and from Polk City Elementary School.

On some occasions, kids are even walking across a narrow bridge with little room for pedestrians.

"Crossing that bridge on 33, I won't do it and I'm a grown up. That's suicide," said Raymond Cashman, a Polk City resident who says he sees kids walking the dangerous route daily.

Jamie Stalvey has a son in kindergarten. So far, she's found different ways to get her kid to school -- but others aren't so lucky.

I've seen babies walking hand in hand on the first day of school, going across Highway 33, holding hands, looking scared to death," she said.

On Tuesday, ABC Action News raised these parents' concerns with the new Polk County School Superintendent, Kathryn LeRoy.

She maintains that safety is their top priority.

"If there's concerns, because you just mentioned a concern, then I will probably end up having transportation -- they've spent hours and hours going out and rechecking -- so we'll go out and recheck again," she said. "We continue to do our due diligence of what we're supposed to do to make sure our children our safe."

The routes cut must meet the states safety requirements.

By law, districts must provide transportation to all students who live more than two miles away from school.

LeRoy says that's always been the districts policy, but in the past they picked up kids who live closer "as a courtesy."

 

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