February 18, 2014
GREENVILLE - Last week, The Daily Advocate reported on a father who began a petition for change after his kindergarten student was dropped at the bus stop with no parents or “responsible figures” in sight; Jake Angles, the father, said he doesn’t feel there was any resolution to the situation.
According to Greenville City Schools’ transportation policy, available on their website: “Kindergarten students will not be dropped off alone at the bus stop in the afternoons. If an older sibling is not on the bus, a responsible person must be at the bus stop to receive the child. This can be a parent, caregiver, neighbor or older sibling. If someone is not at the bus stop to receive the child, we will take the child back to Woodland Primary at the end of the route and arrangements will need to be made for the child to be picked up there by a parent.”
The student handbook for Greenville City Schools states: “Kindergarten students will not be dropped off at the bus stop unless a responsible person is present or visible by the bus driver.”
Doug Fries, superintendent of Greenville City Schools, said that the policy was followed.
“Our driver felt they had a visual; and that’s all the policy says you have to have is a visual. So we’re moving on,” Fries stated.
Angles said his kindergartner specifically told the bus driver that his parents weren’t there, and was told to exit the bus anyway.
“I think it’s something they’re going to sweep under the rug and let it go,” Angles commented. “I worked in corrections, and I know how it feels to want to protect one of your own, but I don’t think that this is a situation that warrants that protection.”
According to Beth Cain, transportation supervisor for Greenville City Schools, there have been no complaints filed against the driver of the boy’s bus. Angles, however, said he witnessed a phone call between a mother of a child on his son’s route and Cain several months ago.
The boy’s mother found him mostly safe (he scraped his knee) after he was left at the bus stop, but Angles said that as a parent, he cannot allow his child to be put into that situation again.
“I, as a parent, can not and will not allow my son to be put in any situation like that,” Angles wrote to his son’s kindergarten teacher, explaining why his son would be missing some school days. “He could have been taken by someone, or where the stop is so close to the road, he could have been hit by an unaware motorist.”
To view Angles’ petition, which has more than 400 signatures in support of disciplinary action against his son’s bus driver, visit www.change.org/petitions/child-neglect-by-greenville-ohio-schools-bus-transportation-terminate-or-discipline-the-questioned-driver-and-place-her-somewhere-away-from-children?share_id=unSJwniGoN&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition.