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Parents fed up with Lee Schools over 'unsafe' bus stops

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Parents fed up with Lee Schools over 'unsafe' bus stops

By Colleen Hogan. CREATED Aug 10, 2012

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Parents across Lee County are fed up over what they're calling un-safe school bus stops.

They're thanking Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan for continuing to fight for their kids safety. She's not giving up on getting them answers.
 
"I just wanted to thank you guys for doing something," concerned parent Amanda Bevins said. "This is the first response that we've gotten that hopefully will be positive to help our kids."
 
We've been reporting on bus stop safety concerns all week. 
 
Parents are even more worried after a Lee County student was critically hurt by a hit and run driver Thursday at her bus stop. Some parents are worried that those accidents will continue.  So why isn't the district doing anything?
 
"I don't really like it," Derick Balling, 15, said as he got off his school bus outside the Danforth Lakes community on Palomino Rd.
 
He's not the only one who feels unsafe at the stop.
 
"Traffic is coming in and out," concerned parent Kelly Evers said. "This is where we are supposed to stand and wait for our bus."
 
"They have no sidewalks for them to stand," Bevins said. "There's no protection for them if it rains."
 
Parents at the Danforth Lakes community want the buses to pick up their kids on the road that leads into their community, like they did last year.
 
"We're not a gated community," Evers said. "It's just a short distance for them to go around our round-about and drop them off safely."
 
Instead, the new bus stop has the kids getting on and off on Palomino Rd. Evers took pictures of where the kids wait and she snapped one of Bevin's little boys, who had to cross Palomino Rd. when the bus driver left them off on the other side of the road.
 
"Putting our children's safety in jeopardy is not the answer," Evers said.
 
For days, we've been reaching out to the district and the transportation office to see if several bus-stops in Lee County that parents have deemed dangerous could be tweaked. We were told Thursday that it was inappropriate for the district to respond to parent concerns through the media. 
 
So Friday, we reached out to everyone we could think of, to try and get these parents some help. We reached out to schools superintendent Joseph Burke, every school board member, the Lee County Commission, even our lawmakers to see what they could do. 
 
The only person who bothered to respond was school board member Don Armstrong, who left messages with a reporter. When we hear what Armstrong and others have to say, we'll let you know.
 
Colleen Hogan, reporter
chogan@fox4now.com