Update: Lansing School Bus Will Pick Up 5-Year-Old Student

By: Caroline Vandergriff Email
By: Caroline Vandergriff Email

You've got a problem - we get results.

Within two weeks after our exclusive "What's Bugging You" report aired, the Lansing School District has stepped up to give a five-year-old student a spot on the school bus.

The school district initially said the kindergartener lived within "walking distance" from the school. According to the district's policy, that is a mile and a half radius from the school. Kids who live within that distance have to walk to school instead of getting a ride on the bus.

For Jenna Fosburg, that would have meant sending her five-year-old son Jackson to walk a mile to school by himself, since both her and her husband work full-time with schedules that conflict with the start and end of school.

Fosburg was outraged by this potentially dangerous situation, and reached out to us for help after spending several months battling for a bus ride for Jackson.

On Wednesday, she finally got the call that the Lansing School District would add Jackson to the bus route. She says she's thrilled he can now ride the bus to STEM Academy, instead of having to rely on alternative arrangements to get him to school safely.

Even though she and Jackson were happy and excited for his first bus ride Thursday morning, Fosburg says she still has concerns about the district's "walking distance" policy.

"I feel like a big load is off my shoulders," Fosburg said. "I just feel like this is so great. I feel there's still half a battle. I think the reason they took him is because he is in kindergarten. I think next year, I'll be in the same position with a six-year-old walking to school. I'll get a little nervous."

Fosburg says she'll keep fighting to get rid of the policy all-together. She says she just doesn't think it's safe for an elementary school kid to be walking that far of a distance to school alone.

However for now, she's just very relieved he'll have a guaranteed ride to and from school for this year.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Charlotte on Oct 5, 2012 at 02:26 AM
    If the parents couldn't drive him because they both worked, is this child getting himself ready for school while he is home alone? Something isn't right. Either the parents leave this child alone to get on the bus himself, while they go to work; or they are home and can drive him.
  • by A. Mommy Location: Lansing on Oct 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM
    I commented before on the first article. I agree that a mile is a bit of a hike for a kindergartener. But this is a perfect learning opportunity. Walk with him. Show him the way to and home from school. Where to cross, where the traffic lights are, how to read the traffic signals. If there are any pedestrian walkways over the road. Be smart. Teach your boy how to do it, and you won't be so scared. And of course, that first day, meet him and walk it again together.
  • by Anonymous Location: Location on Oct 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    I see a lot of people yelling for these parents to take responsibility to get their kid to school. Guess what.....they just did. they took a different route than many of us would. In fact, I come to work every morning, then leave for 20 minutes to get my kid to school, then go back to work. not hard, but many dont have as cool of a boss as I do. They did what they felt needed to be done to get their kid to school. Don't be mad becasue they thought of this avenue before you did.
  • by Mara Location: Lansing on Oct 3, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    I truly do not care what any other school district does. Young children should not have to walk even one whole mile to school. The school district has, in its wisdom, decided that it is fiscally desirable to do away with some of the neighborhood schools. Ok, Lansing School District, if you're going to do that, then 'man up' (or 'woman up', I guess) and provide transportation for the displaced early elementary students, at least! And I don't just mean Kindergarteners. I mean any child under the age of 12! Psychologically, people don't generally develop the ability to think abstractly until about that age. That means impaired judgement. Would you let a drunken friend of yours walk a mile and a half home, in all weather???? Well, your average 10 year old doesn't have much better judgement, I'm sorry to say.
  • by Name Location: Location on Oct 1, 2012 at 03:37 AM
    THIS IS BS! WHAT about the other kids who live within the mile of the school will they get a bus?NO they do not.Get off ur rear lady and walk the child to school or make other arrangements like ask the parent of the kids u are to care for come later
  • by Mike Location: East Lansing on Sep 30, 2012 at 02:17 AM
    They need to get rid of ALL transportation to and from schools. Parents should be responsible to get their children to and from school, not the tax payers.
  • by Mom_of_4 Location: Michigan on Sep 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
    I have to agree with the other commenters, how many other parents are in the same situation of "both her and her husband work full-time with schedules that conflict with the start and end of school." A whole hell of alot. And as parents, they find ways to make it work. Be it early morning latchkey, or someone to watch their child in the morning. Taking my children to school has never been easy, having 4 of them and working a full time job. But you know what, I figure it out because my children are my responsibility and finding a way to get them to school is my priority. The 1.5 mile radius is not exclusive to Lansing, it is standard for most school districts in Michigan. Do you think this is convienient for any of the parents within 1.5 miles of a school? No, but do they make it work? They do.
  • by Another Mom Location: Everywhere on Sep 28, 2012 at 07:48 AM
    So this child now has transportation. How many others are there who are in the same situation, but their parents have taken the extra step of working this out before the school year started? Don't they all deserve the bus? When my oldest child was starting school in Holt, we lived just outside the bus route too. My husband worked out of town and left early in the morning with our only car. I had to get a newborn out of his crib and walk my daughter to school every morning and walk her home. We had just moved to the area and until I met some wonderful neighbors who offered to help, that was my situation. In later years, we moved and my children were unable to attend Catholic schools because of transportation issues. In other words, this is not something that affects only one child, and this "solution" is no solution at all for the majority. If you enroll your child in a school, it is your responsibility as a PARENT to make sure you can get him there and back safely.
  • by Brad Location: Mason on Sep 28, 2012 at 07:23 AM
    I dont agree with this! Why make it ok for one kid if its not going to be ok for them all? The parents should have found someone to either walk the child to school or took and picked them up!
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