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Sheriff Snyder: school board and administration should reverse its decision on bus stop

Posted at 7:48 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 04:28:43-04

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder is taking a strong stance on the ongoing bus stop issue in Martin County.

All of this developed when hundreds of Martin County students were told their bus stops were being eliminated because the walk to school is no longer considered hazardous.

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Snyder said he thinks the school board and administration should reverse its decision to eliminate 90 bus stops this year.

One week before the kids go back to school, we’ve heard from several frustrated and concerned parents.

All of them say their child will not be able to ride the school bus this year and instead will have to walk dangerous routes to school.

“Under no circumstances should a child be crossing U.S. 1 at any point in Martin County,” said Sheriff Snyder.

Snyder agrees that many of these walking routes are far too dangerous for kids and even crossing guards.

“It wouldn’t be safe for the children. It would be irresponsible for me to put civilian crossing guards on U.S. 1 to walk children across that busy road.”

In general, students who live less than 2 miles from their school are only eligible to ride the bus if their walking route is considered hazardous.

However, after changes to the state statute, what constitutes as hazardous has changed. And those 90 bus stops in Martin County did not meet the criteria to receive the funding, so the district eliminated them.

Snyder told NewsChannel 5 that his office was not engaged or involved in this major safety conversation or even formally asked to provide more crossing guards.

And Snyder said more crossing guards this late in the game wouldn’t have been possible, especially because their budget is already set and they are already six crossing guards short going into this school year.

“This is a bad time to try and institute it. There has not been adequate planning. There's not been adequate safety consideration.  And the school board and the administration should reverse themselves under this policy and pick up every child that they did this year that they did last year."

Snyder said the first time he was officially contacted was Aug. 4.

He says he will make sure there are increased uniformed patrols along the routes.