A local mom took to Facebook this week because she has had enough of her son having to walk outside in frigid temperatures because the family lives too close to Lockport schools.
“We are so close that the bus stands directly in front of our home for 15 minutes before it starts their route. Children in our development get picked up just not within that mile. Why my child can’t walk a few doors down with me and be picked up is beyond me,” said Anetka Sosa, parent. “Why myself or any parent/parents are expected to walk in the winter with no sidewalks just bothers me beyond belief.”
Sosa has a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old which makes it difficult for her to walk her son to school, but she does. She says her son has to walk on a busy road with no sidewalks and no shoulder for almost a mile in the cold. The speed limit is 35 mph and she worries for the safety of her child. All because she says districts are allowed to decide if a student can be bused or not if they live within two miles of the school.
“I want to cry I’m so frustrated. I know when we were little we walked longer distances, I know that others may have it worse, but this should not be happening, I don’t know what logic was used to make this law stick, but I’m asking you to help me change it,” said Rosa. “I will not go quietly. I do not want my child missing school because it’s too bad out there to walk and I don’t want my child or any child to be at risk for getting hit by a car. No child this age should be considered a ‘walker’ like we were told when we moved here and tried to set up busing.”
Rosa believes NYS law needs to change.
“I tried to reason with them and was told that the law was on their side. This law needs to change! Not everyone has two vehicles, not everyone needs two vehicles. My husband and I work opposite shifts for the sole purpose that one of us is always home with our children. Why do they have to make this so difficult? What do our school taxes pay for? Do I pay less because my child is a ‘walker?’ I don’t think so. Instead to save a few bucks and put it in someone else’s pocket we’re left with no options, just left to figure it out. In other words they are saying ‘your child does not matter.’ Well that’s not good enough for me, I will fight whoever I have to.”
Rosa said the purpose of her plea is to make sure that each and every child deserves the promise of a safe way to school.
“No one should be excluded. You never know someone’s situation, whether it’s a single parent trying to manage everything themselves and make it to work, not everyone has help, not everyone has options. Sometimes the only safe place a child has is school, what if they can’t make it there? This law is letting those children down. No exceptions, no hardhsips matter, you don’t matter. Your child’s absence does not matter, only your tax dollar does. Each child should be provided with a way to school not just mine. They don’t have voices big enough, we have to speak for them, fight for them.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
UPDATE – An online petition has been created to change the busing policy in New York State. It has almost reached its goal of 2,500 signatures. To view or sign the petition visit: www.change.org/p/lockport-school-board-each-and-every-child-deserves-a-safe-way-to-school-busalllittleones-mommyonamission/