Woman Takes On School District To Protect Kids - myfoxcarolinas.com

Woman Takes On School District To Protect Kids

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NORTH PHILADELPHIA -

What would you do if your young child was dropped off the school bus at the wrong location near a busy intersection alone?

One Philly woman is taking on the Philly School District Department of Transportation to help protect all kids.

Neveah Brown lives in North Philadelphia. The 7-year-old is in first grade at the Khepera Charter School in the Mt. Airy section of Philly.

Neveah takes the bus to and from school. It's about a 30 minute ride each way.

Neveah usually gets dropped off at 11th street and Lehigh Avenue after school but on December 5 last year this 6-year-old girl was dropped off near the busy intersection of 11th Street and Silver Street by herself.

She was very scared. She had no idea what to do.

After learning that her daughter was dropped off alone at the wrong bus stop, Selena Brown, Neveah's mother was stunned.

She was near a halfway house for ex-felons, ex rapists, ex murderers, ex pedophiles.

Selena works at an insurance company in Yeadon. During the day, usually her mother or Neveah's aunt are waiting at the corner of 11th and Lehigh to meet Neveah but on December 5, a substitute driver dropped Selena's daughter off at the wrong stop and there was no one to meet her Neveah was 6 at the time.

I'm very angry because I know other children can be affected by this

That's because according to the transportation policy of the Philadelphia School District its ok to drop kids between the ages of 5 and 8 off alone unless they qualify as special needs.

The School District of Philadelphia transports 39,000 students every day, the district's total budget for transportation this fiscal year is $133 million. They say it's not possible to drop every child off at home or to a parent or guardian.

Fernando Gallard is the Chief Spokesman for the Philadelphia School District, he says while it is the parent's responsibility to meet the child at the bus stop no child should be dropped off at the wrong bus stop.

"It is a big challenge for parents and a challenge for the district and we have to meet in the middle," Gallard said. "We ask parents to meet the child…it's their responsibility to meet a child at the bus stop."

"If a child is dropped off at the wrong stop that's definitely on us…it should not happen especially with a young child," he said. "In a situation like that we should know immediately so that does not occur again."

Selena brown not only contacted the district, the bus company and the school after her daughter was dropped off at the wrong stop. She is vowing to change the policy to make sure it doesn't happen again, so last month she started a Facebook page called "No Child Left Abandoned," which includes a petition to change the policy. She also created a twitter account.

"I wanna make sure that all children in Philadelphia are as safe as possible," Brown said.

Selena went to a district meeting in late January to present her proposal.

"I just couldn't believe that this policy is not in place and there is nothing being done to rectify the issue," Selena said.

Gallard says the district does its best to make sure all children who take buses are dropped off safely.

"We want drop them off in locations that are safe where students don't have to cross over dangerous intersections," Gallard said.

That's what Selena wants her proposal notes that Los Angeles, Detroit, New York and Baltimore all have policies guaranteeing the safety of all children on buses and she hopes by raising awareness she can add Philadelphia to that list.

"I just find it very sad and disheartening. I'm hoping change will come very soon," Selena said.

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