The world is a dangerous place for our children, but they should at least be allowed to get to school in a safe manner. Many Florida parents are raising concern about new busing laws created by a school district in the Orlando’s Lake County area that would force thousands of students to walk to school despite dangerous conditions.
Students who live within two miles from a school campus were denied bus privileges and forced to walk to school. This resulted in 4,300 students without transportation. Parental concerns have led the school board to reconsider bus rides for hundreds of students who meet certain requirements based on their route to school. However, many parents have voiced their concerns about the dangerous road conditions that could put their children in danger.
Parents have expressed anxiety about right-of-way issues, road, construction, high traffic speeds and inadequate lighting. However, the school board does not outline what it considers conditions dangerous enough to warrant bus transportation. The state has its definition of what it considers dangerous, but the school district’s policies are much more vague.
Without the specificity, parents and children continue to live in fear of the daily walk to school. Having to cross busy highways and walk in inadequately lighted areas can be scary for adults, let alone school-age children. The school board is currently coming up with new ideas to appease worried parents, including a daily bus fee for those who wish to utilize bus transportation. But what happens when nothing works and children end up hit by a car in a serious – or even fatal – accident?
What legal rights do parents have when it comes to their children’s safety to and from school? Could the school board be held liable for any accidents that occur? Parents may want to discuss their concerns with a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer and see what options are available.
Orlando Sentinel, “School walk rule concerns parents” Erica Rodriguez, Sep. 14, 2013