A mother in the Francis Howell School District contacted 5 On Your Side concerned about the location of her child’s bus stop.
According to the mother, a registered sex offender lives where First Student was planning to pick up and drop off students this coming school year. She says she was having trouble getting the attention from the school district she felt the issue deserved, so she contacted 5 On Your Side.
She sent us the following note:
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Myself and about 5 other families in St. Peters need your help. We have kids in Elementary and Jr High that just received our bus schedules for the Francis Howell SD (Hollenbeck Middle and Fairmont Elementary) and we noticed that the Elementary kids have their bus stop in front of a Registered Sex Offender's house. (Man plead guilty to rape and sodomy of a 13 yo female while living in the same house!) The Jr High kids (all girls 10-13) have to walk a qtr of a mile to their stop, out of view of our homes, and PAST the Sex Offenders house. They will have to be doing so in the DARK come winter time!!! We addressed this with First Student and FHSD Transportation Director who said they would fix it. All they did is move the elementary kids to the OTHER SIDE of the sex offenders house and nothing for the Jr High girls! Now, I cannot get anyone on the phone or return my calls. The kids all go back to school 8/9!
And that, she says, was all it took to get a school district transportation official out to her neighborhood to survey the route and change it.
Matt Deichmann, the chief communications and community relations officer for the Francis Howell School District, told us the district took a look at their case, and that both the elementary and middle school bus stops will be moved so the children will not have to walk past the house of the registered sex offender to get to the bus stop.
Meanwhile, Missouri does not have any laws on the books that prohibit bus stops near registered sex offenders. State Representative Sonya Anderson introduced a bill last year that would have prohibited the placement of a school bus stop within 500 feet of a sex offender's residence. The bill was referred to a committee where it stalled indefinitely.
To look up the locations of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood, visit the Missouri State Highway Patrol's sex offender registry.
If you have a concern in your neighborhood that you want us to know about, send an email to 5onYourSide@KSDK.com or give us a call at (314) 444-5231.