I am writing this letter to express my objection to the new busing policy instituted by the Roslyn School District for grades two to five.
The Roslyn community voted in the spring to maintain universal busing within the district. There was no asterisk attached to the ballot telling us that services would then be reduced and downgraded for those students in the second through fifth grades. As we all now know, a letter was sent out in August, just prior to the school year announcing these changes. This late notification precluded any meaningful organized protest of this change before the first day of classes. It would, therefore, seem a suspiciously timed announcement at the very least.
It would seem that for the grand sum of less than $2 per month per Roslyn household (using published figures) we have now sacrificed the safety of our children. It is interesting that the board claims that safety is their primary concern, yet instituted this policy without a careful review of each and every stop; they have subsequently been forced to change innumerable stops because of unsafe conditions, including traffic patterns, children hidden from view by shrubs, etc. It is a virtual admission that the plan at its essence is unsafe. Children were, therefore, subjected to risk at the very outset as a result of this new transportation plan. We had a proven track record of busing safety, yet the choice was made to abandon this secure system and allow children to walk within those roads without sidewalks and depart buses without confirmation that a responsible party was waiting. It is clearly and simply a matter of time before an injury occurs.
Overcrowding now exists and seating (or lack of) is often a real issue. Home arrival times have been affected and parents have taken it upon themselves to drive their own children, creating further hazardous patterns within the boundaries of the schools. We have broken a system that needed no repair; and, again, for what? Have we now sacrificed the safety of our children in the almighty Roslyn quest to stem educational costs?
I urge the board to revert to a system that worked. It is interesting that on the board of education website, the Roslyn Bulldog Mascot is urging people to "Drive carefully, school is open."
This would seem especially urgent, considering that we have made moving targets of our most precious assets.
Kenneth Crystal MD