It took less than four days for a group of concerned parents to resolve what they saw a safety concern with the Clinton School District’s proposed busing plan for the upcoming school year.
Eagle Heights Elementary School parents north of Main Avenue and within a 2-mile radius of the school were informed late last week that their children could either take the city bus or walk across the 27th Avenue North Bridge that would require students to walk through the Miller Ridge Apartments.
“Our concern is all the issues in that complex. We don’t feel it’s safe for our children,” Anna Mangelsen, one of the concerned parents said. “We don’t want our kids riding the city bus because we don’t know who’s riding that.”
The Miller Ridge Apartments area, which 27th Avenue runs through, garnered attention recently for what Clinton police called a serious and significant increase of calls about acts of violence in the area.
In less than a week span in June police responded to two calls of shots fired in the area.
More than 100 students would have been affected by the proposed plan.
Mangelsen expected to have busing for her child and several of the other children she provides before and after-school daycare for and was not informed until Friday that was not the case.
Immediately following the news, Mangelsen said she and several other parents contacted the school district and school board to express their concerns. At the time, Superintendent Deb Olson was out of the office and unaware of the issue. When Olson returned Monday to find a handful of messages about the issue, she visited the disputed area where students would be walking to and from school. Olson said she was not comfortable with what she found.
“I agree with the parents. There are a lot of blind areas out there,” she said. “How am I going to protect or ensure the safety of my kids?”
The district will now offer students the option of riding a bus. Parents will be notified of pick-up locations beginning Friday.