Aug 12, 2014, Alexandria, LA- A petition is now In place asking for signatures to have the law surrounding walk zones in high crime areas implement a community school bus stop for students.
It began with one mother sending her preschooler off and finding out that she was in the walk zone, almost a mile away from the school and in a high crime area. With no vehicle, and city buses running one time every hour and costing in excess of $80 a month for a commute like this she knew that something had to be done for families facing situations like this.
The law in Louisiana says that anyone under a mile from the school has to walk or ride by car.
Well, it says "There is no reimbursement for pick up or delivery of students with in a one mile walk zone. If it is necessary for safety or other issues to pickup and deliver students to school from within a one mile zone there will be no reimbursement from the state for doing so."
The route they have decided for us is .08 and it takes us through drug infested and unsafe areas. The only safe route in this particular situation is well over a mile.
According to the registry we have 287 sex offenders in the area and the route takes us directly in the path of 37 of them. That is just those known, 27 are un-mappebale. You can go to KidsLiveSafe.com and check 71302 to see for yourself. The closest of them was convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
This is also unsafe due to no sidewalks and narrow bridges, etc. The amount of registered sex offenders we will be directly exposed to is staggering, and it would be easy for a predator to profile us and know our schedule. It is not like we can adjust it?
One bus stop on third somewhere between Broadway and John Thomas or on Broadway and 6th street for the area children could make all the difference?
In any high crime walk zone a single community bus stop could really make the difference....even save a life!
There are also moms who have to work, have multiple children and no one to watch them or like me, have chronic health issues. These moms either takes all of the small children on a walk up to a mile long one way pay 80 plus dollars a month for city bus fair or have no choice but to let their children walk alone in this high crime/drug area also saturated with sex offenders.
Then there are extreme weather concerns and so much more for parents who live on the line of the "walk/ride" cutoff. I am .08 if I walk through drug alley, and that puts me in the "walk zone."
How a child (4 and 5 years old) is expected to walk 2 of the almost 4 miles a day for school is beyond me, and that is minus the safety concerns. Are we supposed to deny them their education, quit our jobs, and not pay a bill to be able pay for city transit (plus the hours it takes to make the commute via city bus; who would have time to work?
This system is designed to make already struggling parents fail and put children in harms way!
Mothers should not have to choose between work and their child’s education, suffer from health issues being enhanced ,etc. Four and 5 year old children should not have to walk miles a day to get an education and no child or parent should be in an unsafe situation.
If we had one stop on the main highway (3rd Street) it would make a lot of difference for moms and in the safety of many children’s lives.
After all, is not the children’s SAFETY to be the first priority?
ALL WE ARE ASKING FOR IS A SINGLE STOP FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN TO BE ABLE TO UTILIZE.
I have called the school, the school board, school board transportation and I have emailed people like my State Representative, The Mayor’s Office and Ms. Dixon on the school board individually. Maybe enough signatures will help this cause get the attention it needs. While these agencies want to help and even agree that something like this would be great the "walk zone" law stands in the way.
These children should not have to sacrifice or be put in danger, never mind the inconvenience or issues it causes us as parents.
LET’S SET THESE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES UP FOR SUCCESS AND PROMOTE THEIR SAFETY.
It only takes a second to stop at ONE STOP to pick up the area children for school, and we are asking for no more than that."
"Together we can get the law brought to legislatures attention if we can get the signatures to back the information here. We cannot expect our State Representative to go in without backing from the people, but with every signature received we gain a little leverage to send with him when he goes to the floor with these concerns so that every high crime community gets a single community bus stop to keep children safe!"
Please sign the petition here. At least 97 more supporters are needed to even begin to be taken seriously.