CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Parents came to Monday night’s school board meeting demanding change after they say some bus stops aren’t safe for kids.
Several parents showed up to share their worries with the school district. They stood up at the meeting to speak about issues they’ve noticed since the start of this school year.
About a dozen bus drivers came to hear parents out and understand why they’re so frustrated. But this doesn’t come down to one problem. Parents say there are many things that need to change to make it safe for their kids.
For many students, riding the school bus is an everyday routine. But some parents shared why they think their kid’s bus stops aren’t safe enough.
Kassandra Rodriguez says, “That’s my concern with it, that the kids are being dropped off pretty far, where they’re too young to be walking by themselves.”
Rodriguez noticed this school year, her kid’s drop-off location changed from the front of the Leonard Recreation Center to across the street, and that’s not okay with her.
She says, “I don’t understand how it’s safe for a 5-year old to cross the street and walk by themselves that far.”
She talked to the center about her concerns first and says, “John from the Leonard Center was included and he apologized to the parents because he wasn’t even aware of it and he doesn’t feel like it’s safe for the kids either.”
Then she talked to the bus barn and says,”They’re like, there’s nothing we can do. Go to the board meeting.”
So she did, and she wasn’t alone. As Stephanie Rodriquez stood before the board, her son’s well-being brought her to tears.
She says, “It’s just a safety thing. Pretty much for my kid and everyone else’s kid.”
Parents didn’t show up just for this one bus stop though.
Natalie Schneider says, “This year, for whatever reason, the bus stop was changed to Paula and Cynthia where there are no sidewalks the entire way and it’s a busier street.”
Schneider even recorded a bus dropping off kids and a car driving right past it and not stopping. By the end of the board meeting these parents’ message was clear.
Schneider says, “I hope that something changes. I’m here because I’m one of those people who wants to speak out and say this is not okay.”
While the board didn’t directly respond to public comment Monday night, one board member did say to leave their contact information on the comment cards so they can follow up with parents.
When first reported last week, the school district released this statement:
We made a few procedural changes this school year to benefit all students, helping them get to and from school safely and efficiently. Student safety is always our priority.