Guest Editorial, November 17-19, 2010 |

Guest Editorial, November 17-19, 2010

Gerd Holmsen-Aguilar, Park City

In January I read the following letter to the Park City Board of Education"

Dr. Ray Timothy and the Park City Board of Education,

Three years ago I was in the Park City Leadership Group. In selecting our project for the year, we thought about building bus-stop shelters for our students who are bused to school. I talked to Mr. Chasten, head of transportation. He stated that this was not a good idea for two reasons: 1. Children are safer out the in open where they can be seen. 2. School bus stops are changed every year to accommodate where students live. This made sense and the school bus shelter project was dropped.

This year my grandchild, Madeline, who lives in Park Meadows, is bused to Ecker Hill School. She lives on Little Kate Road. She, her neighbor and two children from the Racquet Club walk, carrying their heavy backpacks, down Little Kate to the Racquet Club stop sign and then up Monitor a short way to their bus stop. The bus then goes back down Little Kate Road, right past all their homes.

This makes no sense to me, so I called Mr. Chasten and asked him why the bus stop couldn’t be changed to accommodate these students. He answered, "We have been stopping there for years, and I am not going to change it." I then suggested that I might contact Mr. Proffitt to which Mr. Chasten answered, "Mr. Proffitt has nothing to do with it.!"

Much has been written about the damage heavy backpacks do to young children’s backs. I would like the school board to:

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  • Make sure the bus stops accommodate where most of the children live. (In our case all four children could be picked up and let off on Little Kate and Racquet Club Drive. Not only is it closer, but safer.)
  • Work on finding ways to lighten the loads these students carry. Medical professionals advise no more than 10-15 percent of a child’s weight.

    I have spoken with many parents and I am not the only one who has these concerns. Looking at bus stops and where students live would certainly be a helpful first step.


    Gerd Holmsen-Aguilar

    In my many years as educator/principal I have spoken at many board meetings. I always received an answer, but not this time.

    The situation prevails, expect this year Madeline’s load is now heavier since she is lugging a laptop computer to school every day.

    I certainly understand why parents drive their children to and from school. At the end of the school day I see long lines of cars, many with engines running.

    There are solutions. I mentioned a couple to Dr. Ray Timothy. We dealt with this problem in my district twenty years ago.

    Seeing the response of this school board, it is no surprise to me that few parents attend their meetings or bring up issues.

    And finally, where are the signs asking the parents to turn off their engines?

    I cannot possibly be the only person concerned about these issues.