Wednesday, September 01, 2010
One Day Down
There are changes in this town. Changes that take a core patience to sort through and see how everything settles. Like the new two mile bussing rule. All children less than 2 miles from school are not eligible for transportation. In other words their parents must get them to school -- by some means. We are only slightly effected. For safety -- we were bussed to the elementary school. But for the past couple of years, the bus was so unreliable, I would walk with my students. So the change does not impact us much... we used the bus twice last year, when I couldn't make the pick up.
But there are many families in this town that now must walk their child the close to two miles to school. Young children -- second graders, kindergartens walking on busy roads with no sidewalks or crossing guards.
The town is getting around this by saying, "The students are not walkers; just not eligible for transportation." Parents are up in arms. Saying the $500,000 saved in the school budget with this crazy new plan pales in comparison to the pending law suit as soon as a child is injured or killed on the way to school. I figure as soon as this happens, D.S.S. will be called and the parents arrested for child endangerment.
And our new elementary school principal is saying that students cannot be on school property before 8:55. So what happens when they walk faster one day? Actually she has opened a fifteen minute window for all school arrivals: 8:55 AM to 9:10 AM. And all parents that are to pick up their children at the end of the day are to meet them in the library. That would be a feat, as with the reduced bussing maybe 350 plus out of 500 students are now walkers. So that would be 700 people or more, students parents and siblings, crammed into a space that holds maybe 50 standing comfortably around tables. And let's not forget those backpacks...
Yesterday I waited in the lobby, as I have done for the past 12 years. And when my daughter filed out she said, "I need to meet you in the library." I told her there was no more room, and there wasn't. Parents crammed the space. So much so, no one else -- no students, could enter.
Today is day 2 of the new school year. The temperatures are a scorching 95 plus, with hope for cooler conditions around Friday. Let's just hope there is hope for our schools as well.