The Austintown Local Schools Transportation Department, has without prior notice, ended the long time policy of picking up Kindergarten (and elementary) students at their homes. These children are just learning how cross streets, and are by no stretch of the imagination capable of doing so without adult supervision. But the Austintown Local School District is now requiring them to not only cross them, but walk down streets, some with heavy automobile traffic and most without sidewalks in all types of weather including ice and snow. This policy creates a huge potential for accidents waiting to happen with deadly consequences.
Also, instead of picking up students at driveways, they have also moved most bus stops to intersections. The net result of this change is that since most intersections have no sidewalks or proper bus stop waiting facilities, these children must now either stand in wet grass on someone’s lawn, or on the street to wait for the bus. And what happens in the winter when the roadsides are piled high with plowed snow? These kids will be standing on an icy street waiting for a bus with traffic coming by in four directions at these intersections
These decisions show a potentially fatal lack of judgement and should be reversed immediately. If you agree that this policy is an egregious violation of their duty to safely transport our children, please call the following officials and voice your concerns. (Please note: board member Harold Porter has publicly stated that he agrees these decisions are wrong and should be changed)
- Superintendent: Vincent Colaluca (330) 797-3900 x1510
- Board Member: Kathy Mock (330) 792-7831
- Board Member: David Ritchie (330) 799-0620
- Board Member: David Schnurrenberger (330) 793-2837
- Board Member: Thomas Stellers (330) 792-8647
- Board Member: Harold Porter (330) 727-2410
We have raised these issues at multiple board of education meetings since August, have called and spoken to every member of the board of education, have met with the Superintendant, presented alternatives, and have not yet been able to get these issues resolved in favor of the safety of our children. Based on these results, we have taken the following actions….
We have created an organization called Austintown Children Safety Legal Fund, registered it with the IRS, and obtained an EIN
We have opened a bank account at PNC Bank to accept and disperse funds to support the the following legal actions..
- Court order to force ALSD to pick up K-3 students at their home driveway .
- Court order to prohibit ALSD from placing bus stops at intersections where traffic flows in more than two directions and there are no sidewalks for children to wait for the bus.
- Court order to force ALSD to place bus stops at non-intersection driveways resided at by one of the families of the children being picked up.
- Request for Public Information for electronic copies of all financial records of ALSD for the past 3 years. We will then perform an audit using private sector professional accounting resources and publish the results.