Windermere High School parents on edge of service area want bus pick-up for their children

WINDERMERE, Fla. — Classes at the new Windermere High School haven’t started, but that hasn’t stopped some parents from voicing concerns about how their children will get to school safely.

State law requires bus service for students if they live more than 2 miles from their school, but those living on the edge of that distance have to find their own way.

Parent Ashley Kruse recently learned what route her 14-year-old son will have to take on his walk to school.

Part of the route will take him through an area with no sidewalks or streetlights for when students head out at 6 a.m., Kruse said.

“Somebody’s going to get hurt,” she said. “Somebody’s going to lose their life.”

Kruse believed her home was outside the 2-mile radius, but was recently told by Orange County Schools that their measurement came to 1.9 miles.

If they lived just a little farther down the street, Kruse said her son would be picked up by a bus.

“My husband was told if my neighbor had a child in high school that they qualify for the bus,” she said.

While Kruse and other parents were asking for an exception be made for their neighborhood, Orange County Schools told Channel 9 that under state statute there was no hazardous condition that would allow one.

The district issued the following statement on the issue:

“Orange County Public Schools takes the safety of all children very seriously. The district follows Florida State Statute (F.S. 1006.23) which requires busing for students living two miles or more from the school. If a hazardous condition exists within two miles per Florida State Statute then school districts provide what is called hazardous busing. The district has followed the law, and in this case, there is no hazardous condition as described in the Florida Statute. The district does allow additional students on buses if available seats are determined. If ridership is below bus capacity then students who have requested bus service are considered. “

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.