Busing still an issue for angry Pine Bush parents

By Connor Linskey
Posted 10/9/19

At Pine Bush Central School District’s Board of Education meeting on Monday night. parents expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the busing at Pine Bush Schools. Each parent voiced their …

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Busing still an issue for angry Pine Bush parents

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At Pine Bush Central School District’s Board of Education meeting on Monday night. parents expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the busing at Pine Bush Schools. Each parent voiced their grievances to the board via a public participation platform.

The first to voice his opinion on the matter was James Mitchell. He brought forth a petition that he had also given to multiple legislators, state senators, the New York State Board of Education and the New York State Department of Transportation. This petition, if considered, would change current state transportation regulations. If passed, it would forbid any bus from requiring a child to cross a road without the aid of crosswalks or a crossing guard. Mitchell also noted that a law should be passed that would force students to board and deboard buses on the same side of the road that their stop is on. He also noted that harsher punishments be placed on drivers who put the children in danger.

After Mitchell, Dottie Spears marched to the podium. She asked the board to amend their transportation policy to prevent against putting the children in harm’s way. Spears told the board that they should assume responsibility for the transportation of their children. She was also disappointed that she had never received her child’s bus schedule. Due to the numerous bus route changes, Spears noted that she and other parents wanted to know the route their children take to school. She told the board to make the bus routes available online.

“We will continue to work and support the Pine Bush School District,” Spears said. “Two things we ask in return are accountability and to create stops to keep our children safe and not be afraid to ride their bus. Just remember, united we are Pine Bush.”

Following Spears’ address, Nicole Barchi spoke. Her problem is that other people’s children are using her private road as a bus stop. She has contacted her attorney regarding this matter. Barchi wants an extra stop to be made to avoid liabilities.

After Barchi, Gregg Ketcham provided a speech. He noted that his children are currently forced to walk three tenths of a mile from their bus stop to their home. It is about to start getting darker much earlier and Ketcham hopes the board can change the bus stop.

“Our children are the most important thing in Pine Bush,” Ketcham said.

Samantha Finch also had some choice words for the Board of Education. Her son is currently on his third bus route for the year. When her son took the activity bus last week, the driver refused to let him off at his stop. Instead, he was dropped off two miles from his home in the pouring rain. As a result of this instance, her son no longer wants to ride the activity bus.

Michael Pacella, assistant superintendent for business at Pine Bush Central School District, provided an update on the busing issues. He noted that many stops have been adjusted based on feedback from drivers. In addition, Pacella stated that they are working to improve the timing of the busses. The parents in attendance want the board to take further action regarding the busing issues.

“It’s time to step up and accept the fact that you are at fault,” Spears said.

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