Dif­fi­cult for par­ents

The Southern Gazette - - Puzzles - Colin.far­[email protected]­erngazette.ca

“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.”

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