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Some Martin County students won't be able to ride the bus this year

Posted at 7:17 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 05:22:36-04

Several hundred Martin County families will face some major changes when it comes to getting their child
to school this year.
Those students who used to qualify to ride the bus, even though they live only 2 miles away, now no longer qualify.

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All of this stems from changes to a state statute.

In general the rule is, if you live within 2 miles from your school, you're allowed to ride the bus only if your walking route is considered hazardous.

However, what’s constitutes as hazardous has changed.
Anna Nettles got a letter from the Martin County School District last week. 

It was reminder her that her granddaughter, Samantha, a rising 3rd grader at Crystal Lake Elementary, is no longer be allowed to ride the school bus.

“It’s going to be difficult with one vehicle at the moment,” said Nettles.

Samantha lives within 2 miles of her school. Despite the fact that she’d have to walk along a busy Kanner Highway, her route is no longer considered dangerous enough to qualify her to be a bus rider.

“They drive crazy sometimes. Sometimes they go really speeding by,” said Nettles.

It’s because the rules have changed for Samantha and about 600 others who live within 2 miles of their school.

“We understand the situation that this presents,” said Superintendent Laurie Gaylord.

Going into this school year, the district has eliminated nearly 90 bus stops.

It’s all because those routes where no longer considered too hazardous to walk after changes to the state statute. 

“I know that we’re following the state statute. This was brought about in 2015 when that statute changed for the hazardous walking condition.”

The district began warning parents in March and finalized the changes in May.

While the Nettles say they will find a way to mange, they say it’s an extra burden for working families. 

In response, to these new changes, the district will be offering a fee-based transportation option for these students.