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It has always bothered me, considering crime, cold/inclement weather, and other risks, seeing especially unaccompanied very small children walking to and from school, even when they walk in groups and/or among other children. The practice of parents and schools releasing small children unaccompanied to report to and from school should be unlawful, unless the students’ homes are within view of schools and monitoring school officials. Considering challenges that some parents might have getting children to and from school, all especially elementary schools should have shuttles for walking students who do not reside within view of their schools and are not distant enough away from their schools to qualify to ride public school buses.

School shuttles should be readily discernible to parents and to students. They should display school names and, preferably, district logos. Notices including photographs of school shuttles should be disbursed or sent to parents explaining school shuttle programs, that all students classified as walkers who do not reside within view of their schools would be automatically privileged to shuttle services, etc. If funding for an initiative of this sort would be an issue, schools could charge conservative fees for shuttle services, though no student should be denied shuttle privileges due to a parent’s inability to pay.

Payments could be made weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or yearly. Parents/guardians could arrange for the said student shuttle fees to be automatically deducted from their pay and/or income tax returns. Fees could be waived for qualifying students, or those whose household income falls at or significantly below the poverty threshold.

Students utilizing shuttle services should be delivered to their home addresses or those otherwise specified by parents/guardians. Shuttle drivers should make certain that parents or other authorized adults or age-appropriate children are home and have opened doors, and that students have entered residences before driving off…

If parents, etc. do not answer doors, the shuttle drivers should attempt to contact the parents/guardians via phone. If the parents/guardians do not answer phone calls initially, the shuttle drivers should drop other students off.

If there is no answer once all other students have been dropped off, the shuttle drivers should return the student(s) to their schools to wait for parent retrieval or other appropriate action.

Shuttle services could also benefit older or middle and high school students. Even colleges have shuttle services for students. Older students who reside in houses could be dropped off at their homes, and those residing in apartments could all be dropped off at a common location in front of their apartment community…

Where public school students are concerned, shuttle services would improve student safety by shielding children from lurking dangers and cold/inclement weather, fights, etc. They would also improve public safety in that masses of walking students would not be released into surrounding communities to wreak havoc…