St. Johns County parents express concerns over school bus cuts

Local parents who have children enrolled in the St. Johns County School District have taken their safety concerns to the state following the district’s decision to make changes to school buses and routes.

Parents told Action News Jax the SJC School Board voted to cut back on buses in October. As a result, it changed the bus routes for students going to Liberty Pines Academy, requiring some to walk along 9B to get to the bus stop.

Parents like Amanda Lane said they have expressed safety concerns over traffic to the School Board, but have not gotten a response.

Tuesday morning, Lane was one of several parents who drove past a car flipped on its side, sitting on the sidewalk off of 9B.

“Shock, but also not surprised,” Lane said. “I mean, this is what we’ve been worried about the whole entire time.”

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office crash report showed no one was hurt inside the vehicle. However, it happened around the same time nearby students were walking to school. Parents said this accident could have killed a child.

“I was on the path and saw a boy biking getting to school just while it was happening,” Lane said. “So what if he was there 10 minutes prior to that? He could have been involved in that accident. That’s what we’re worried about.”

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Lane, along with other parents who live in the St. Johns Forest area said they will not let their children walk this route and will now have to drive them to school each morning.

“I think it’s crazy how one bus is going to dictate a child possibly getting killed,” Lanes said. “If there was a child walking at that very instance they could have died.”

Action News Jax contacted the School Board to learn about any changes they made and for a comment about parents’ safety concerns. A spokesperson gave us this statement in response: “In view of pending litigation it is not appropriate for the school district to comment on this issue.”

Action News Jax found public records parents concerns on the Division of Administrative Hearings’ website, DOAH. It lists 26 actions a pair of local parents have taken to address their concerns with the School Board. The next hearing is set for January.