Bus Service Ending For Arbor Place Students - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bus Service Ending For Arbor Place Students

Melissa Fox lives in the new Arbor Place Apartment Complex, and far from the front gate. For the past few weeks, her 10-year-old son, Cody, and about 25 other children have made the long walk to the front gate to catch the bus to North Bay Elementary School.  

"It takes them two minutes to pick them up and then two minutes to drop them off," says Fox. "They all get on at the same place, they all get off at the same place."

But she and other parents have been notified that beginning September 5, the bus service will end.  

"It's a done deal as far as I know," says Biloxi School Superintendent Dr. Paul Tisdale.

He says the reason is simple. Busses don't enter gated communities like Arbor Place and the current pick up spot on Popp's Ferry Road is less than a mile from North Bay. According to state law, the district is not required to provide transportation to students who live with a mile of the school.  

"In this case, we're trying to be consistent and also be fair," says Tisdale. "And we certainly understand the parents' concern that their children be safe, but we have other students in the same situation."

In fact, Tisdale says, safety concern over the broken traffic light at Jam Lane was the only reason they bused Arbor Place students to begin with. Fair or not, Danielle Peters worries about her 8-year-old son Drake walking along busy Popp's Ferry Road or the less traveled Jam Lane.

"I would rather he walk the back way, so that there aren't so many vehicles," says Peters. "But also, there's no one there to watch if someone does pull up next to them."

And those are concerns school officials say, regrettably, parents all across Biloxi have to deal with every year.

by Don Culpepper

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