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Parents Upset Over Mt. Pleasant School Bus Routes

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Mount Pleasant parents are up-in-arms about changes made to school bus routes for the upcoming year.

"I just think if the board is going to make changes to the bus routes they need to see where these children are going to be standing," Mount Pleasant parent Kristina Feighan said.

In order to shave spending for the Mount Pleasant Central School District, Superintendent Susan Guiney and the rest of the board of education created new bus routes in order to consolidate stops and cut costs of busses.

Feighan said the new stop for her children, ages 6 and 9, is not a major inconvenience, but that some families have issue with long distance walks or visibility for oncoming drivers. Guiney admitted that one bus stop was originally located two blocks from the home of a level-1 registered sex offender, but changes were made.

"The parent that was complaining about the stop near the registered sex-offender, we moved that stop an additional two blocks away to ease her mind," Guiney said.

The new routing system was created by computer software purchased by the district, as opposed to years past when it was created by the hired bussing company. Guiney said this was done so the district can dictate the amount of busses they plan to purchase for the school year and also to eliminate most door-to-door stops.

The original letter notifying parents of the route changes was sent home in early August.  Since then, the district has received around 100 complaints from parents through a feedback form on the district's website. Guiney said they have altered the bus routes to meet about two-thirds of the filed complaints.

Feighan believes the online feedback form was just a way for the district to dodge fire.

"They know people are going to be upset and they're just making people feel like they're avoiding us,"

Local resident Dianna Anderson felt indifferent about the bus changes and said she feels that most parents are just not ready for change.

"It was much more convenient for me in the past but it's change and we'll deal with it," Anderson said. "The district has implemented many changes and it was just too much for many to handle at once,"

Guiney said that the district will go through a trial period during the first two weeks of school and the bus committee will reevaluate the bus routes to make any other possible changes.  The first day of school for the district is Tuesday, September 6.

Has the bus route changes affected you or your child in any way?

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