From http://www.wbtv.com by Dedrick Russell, February 5, 2014
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District is figuring out locations of bus stops in February. While staff decides bus stops, staff will not check bus stops against the addresses of registered sex offenders living in Mecklenburg County.
“Only when it’s brought to our attention as an issue.” CMS routing and scheduling manager Kevin Devore said.
So far this year CMS has had three complaints about sex offenders living too close to a bus stop. The school district checked and indeed sex offenders were living close to the bus stops. The school district did act, but left it up to the parents to decide whether or not to move the bus stop.
There are about 21,000 CMS bus stops and more than 800 registered sex offenders living near them. CMS says it doesn’t check addresses before deciding bus stops because that population is transient. If they change bus stops every time a sex offender moves, changing bus stops would be a never ending process.
“You have to continue to manage the data as it moves on a large scale,” Devore said. “I don’t know if it can be manageable with the current staffing we have right now.”
WBTV went to a neighborhood that had about 40 registered sex offenders living within a mile of a bus stop.
“Oh that’s scary,” CMS parent Phyllis Davis said. “I don’t trust them cause they’ll do it again and again.”
“I needed to know that,” CMS grandmother Elise Gordon said. “Not just for my grands, but for me.”
We also told parents CMS does not look at addresses of sex offenders before deciding bus stops.
“The way crime is today,”Gordon said. “That definitely should be something that we look at carefully.”
It’s not illegal for sex offenders to live near a bus stop. They just can’t live within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare. But parents are still uneasy knowing sex offenders are living within a mile of their children’s bus stops.
“They don’t need to be that close,” Davis said. “It makes me very nervous. They need to be somewhere else.”
CMS says if parents are uneasy about sex offenders living near the bus stop, bring to their attention.
“The last thing we want to do is have something happen,” Devore said. “At our bus stops.”
But Devore adds sometimes there is nothing the district can do.
“In some cases we are bound by the fact that there is nowhere else to put the bus stop.” Devore said.
If you want to check to see how many sex offenders live near your child’s bus stop click here. Click on Agree, then type in your address.