FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Parents say they are surprised bus stops can be placed near the homes of registered sex offenders.
KCTV5 connected with parents in several school districts who were either currently dealing with that issue or battled transportation departments in the past.
“I was appalled. It was right in front of the house of a sex offender. I was appalled,” parent Angela Miller said.
Miller’s daughter goes to Independence School District. She says she immediately informed the transportation department.
“The reaction was laid back and subtle what do you expect us to do?” Miller said.
Crystal Fredrick also battled the Independence School District over a bus stop near a registered sex offender. She says it took seven calls to come up with a solution.
“Change the bus stop! Move it up the street down the street and avoid that area,” Fredrick said.
KCTV5 soon discovered parents in other school districts were having the same concern and asked for stops to be moved when parents realized they were placed near a registered sex offender.
One parent in a rural community posted on Facebook how his district consolidated bus stops due to a driver shortage and the new bus stop was near six registered sex offenders.
Missouri law prevents sex offenders from living near schools. The law does not apply to bus stops.
A proposal in 2016 to keep bus stops 500 feet from the homes of registered sex offenders did not pass. That law would have required parents to be notified if there was no other option for bus stops in a neighborhood.
KCTV5 contacted numerous school districts about bus stops. Most mentioned they use previous bus stops. They consider traffic patterns and what’s convenient for families and students. None of the schools considered sex offenders. Only Kansas City Public Schools mentioned other factors like liquor stores and halfway houses.
In the end, the Independence School District did adjust one bus stop for medical reasons and the other family decided to utilize an after-school care program. But both parents say they were disappointed in the district’s initial response.
Independence School Distrcit offered this statement:
The number of sex offenders living in the Kansas City metro is concerning for any parent and we want to partner with our families to ensure student safety. Numerous safety factors are considered when placing stops for more than 10,000 ISD bus riders, to ensure visibility for drivers and students at easily identifiable and centrally located stops. We take all concerns regarding student safety seriously and review each request for bus stop changes. We appreciate when parents notify us of any new safety concerns to allow us to adjust stops when possible. We also encourage parents to partner with us by escorting their children to and from the bus stop.
Here’s how to check your neighborhood and bus stops: