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Stuart parents concerned about bus stop near homeless camp

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 05:24:34-04

A school bus stop near a visible homeless camp in the woods is the latest concern bus stop-related concern expressed by Martin County parents. We’ve already told you about the 90 bus stops that we’re eliminated.

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Now, some families are telling NewsChannel 5 that their bus stop has been moved and the new location isn't safe.

The children living in the SpringTree neighborhood used to be picked up inside their gated community. This year, that's changed. And the parents aren’t happy.

The Martin County School District explained it was a safety hazard for the buses to drive through the community. However, parents say their new bus stop is a far from safe.

Stuart dad Mark O’Quinn says this year his 11-year-old will have to wait for the school bus along a busy U.S. 1.

“It just doesn’t make sense to any of us,” said O’Quinn.

While the speeding cars and lack of traffic signals are concerning enough, O’Quinn is equally worried about a visible homeless camp in the wooded area near his son’s new bus stop.

“The safety of the kids is not being put first,” said O’Quinn.

However, that’s only half of why this Martin County parent is frustrated. His 9-year-old is one of the 600 Martin County students whose bus stop was eliminated because they live within two miles of their school and their walking route is no longer considered hazardous.

“They’re saying kids 6- to 10-years-old in elementary school that that’s an acceptable route at 6:30 in the morning.”

Anna Nettles third grade granddaughter is in a similar boat. The bus is no longer an option, but they say walking isn’t either.

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

The district says it does not get funding for bus stops that don't meet the state statute criteria.

The district is offering a fee-based transportation option for those students whose bus stop was eliminated. However, it could cost parents more than $400 a year.