Parents Concerned About Children Walking to School Ask for Bus Stop to Return | NBC4 Washington

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Parents Concerned About Children Walking to School Ask for Bus Stop to Return

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver explains why some parents are worried about the route their children have to take to walk to Trailside Middle School. (Published Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015)

    The elimination of a bus stop at one Loudoun County, Virginia, school means a long walk through the woods for some students, and that’s causing concern for their parents.

    Children from one Ashburn neighborhood walk a mile along the W&OD Trail to get to Trailside Middle School.

    The concern is the path’s surroundings, particularly in the winter – wooded and dark, not exactly ideal for a middle school student walking alone.

    “It’s kind of weird and kind of creepy,” Trailside student Samantha Shomo said.

    Samantha’s mom is among a handful of parents on their street asking for the bus stop back, but their recent appeal was denied by the school board.

    “I do not walk on the trail by myself,” Donna Shomo said. ”There’ve been too many incidents that have happened, and it’s just a very secluded, wooded area, and I felt like if something were to happen and someone would scream, nobody would hear.”

    “We’ve offered them the chance to go outside their walk zone to catch a bus as an alternative,” Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard said.

    That would mean crossing busy Hay Road to reach the bus stop, but there are no sidewalks on Samantha’s side of the street, nor any crosswalks.

    Despite having a job to get to, Donna Shomo said she will never let her daughter walk to school alone.

    “I will be out here walking her every day,” she said.

    The school system said the parents can petition the transportation department for a change.