Difficult for parents
“I spoke with Ms. Pope — she used to be our school principal and now she’s with the district. I am having a meeting this evening,” she explained.
Smith will be joined in the meeting by Deputy Mayor Gary Myles, as well as Darrell Jackman, executive director of the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre.
“They have programs in our community that help children, things like homework haven,” Smith said. “(This) really affects their programing because the bus used to be able to drop off in front of the community centre, now all those children that are most vulnerable, they are out of the loop for this, they can’t get busing either.”
Another parent with children attending the school in Marystown said the change in busing has put her in a unique situation.
“I’ve got two primary (aged) children and one’s supposed to take the special needs bus and I’m supposed to drive the other one, or let her walk,” said Barbara Stapleton. “She’s too young to walk alone, and if I’ve got to be at a bus stop to put him on a bus, the bus comes 40 minutes, or half an hour before I can bring her to school — so I would have to go out to a bus stop, go back in the house, then drive her to school.”
Stapleton also noted that in the evening she would not be able to pick her child up from school and be at the bus stop to wait for her son, noting that both she and her husband work, so many days the responsibility of picking up her children falls on her mother.
Stapleton feels the busing change is putting children at the school at unnecessary risk during after school pick up as well.
“This place was a mad house,” she said. “It’s dangerous for one thing, and overwhelming.”
She explained that because of the increase in vehicle traffic, and number of people outside the school it made it difficult for parents to pick up their children.
“The kids are supposed to be waiting inside for their rides — you’re supposed to be buzz in through the front door. That was completely impossible because out here was just full of people, so there were kids waiting all out in this area,” she said, pointing to the outside grounds of the school. “In the event the kids have all flooded this area at the front of the school, so you can hardly get in and then it’s hard to find your children.”
She continued, “…it is not safe because those kids cannot wait inside and get their parents buzzed in, anyone could come up and take a kid and you would never know…it’s not safe.”