By Daphne Ramsey
Syracuse City School District Board of Education Commissioners listened to parents and students voice their concerns over the district’s “1.5 mile-rule” Wednesday, which allows the district to bus students who live 1.5 miles or further from schools.
Parents and students stood up one by one during Wednesday’s school board meeting to voice their frustration with the rule.
“I live on the south side of town, and see children walking in the streets, and there are not enough crossing guards,” Joanne Collins, an SCSD parent stated. “And the crossing guards are using cell phones while they are supposed to be watching the traffic, and children.”
The Syracuse Common Council reportedly voted unanimously Dec. 5 to ask the state for additional money to bus students who live 1 mile and further from schools.
Currently, the state penalizes districts who permit “non-allowable” students to ride buses.
However, in the meantime, school board commissioner Mark Muhammad said community members can take their own initiatives to help make sure students get to and from schools safely.
“This should be done immediately, for the safety of the children, if we care as a community,” Muhammad stated. “We should address it today, and not later. The help should come by way of the community getting out and shoveling, if elderly people own the homes, and cannot. Hire teenagers to shovel, so that the children are on the sidewalks, and not in the streets. There’s no time to wait for city, state, and government to fix these issues, we can all fix this problem tonight.”
Muhammad said he regularly checks to make sure kids are safe as he commutes every day.
“Everyone should be seeking to make sure children are safe,” Muhammad stated.
Prior to the meeting, the Nottingham High School Choir also performed holiday selections before the board.
Visit https://vimeo.com/196017371 to view video from the meeting, or click on the image below.