Sex Offender Alters Bus Route

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A registered sex offender has altered a drop-off and pick-up point for a Jackson Public Schools middle school route.

A man living near the corner of N. Blackstone St. and W. Trail St., came off his porch Thursday afternoon and told the driver he was a registered sex offender, said LPS Superintendent Dan Evans, prompting the driver to take action the next day.

"You can only be putting yourself in that bus driver's position to think what would be the logical step, and she did," said Evans. "She called her supervisor and discussed it."

The decision: move the stop about 1000 feet away to ensure the safety of the kids, many of whom were notified the next morning as they were picked up.

"Our protocol is to notify parents when we move a stop but given that the person was sitting on the porch and had identified themselves," said Evans. "I think it was the right move to take them down the street and let them off in a safe area."

Parent Donna Faust isn't so sure. Her daughter, Santana Reynolds, is a student on the route. She was in tears after the driver told her about the sex offender, Faust said. She received a text message from her daughter telling her the stop would change.

"I appreciate the efforts they go through to keep our kids safe but I think they missed a step," said Faust, who says her son's stop on the same street was not altered. "[The driver] should have told the parents, not informed the students."

As for a solution, Faust says she's hamstrung. She's not sure moving the stop is the right move because she won't be able to keep an eye on her kids as easily.

"Do I want my kids thrown to a sex offender? No I don't," she said. "But do I think they're going to be safe going a block up the hill where they can't be seen? I don't think that's safe either. So it's one of them darned if you do and darned if you don't."

The district says it's working on gathering more information so it can send a note home to parents on the route.

A check of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry shows five sex offenders within a quarter mile of the stop.