Lee County Schools
Lee school board member walks 2 miles to teen's bus stop
CAPE CORAL - There are some angry parents who live at Cape Royal, an open gated community in Cape Coral.
While you might be thinking it's hard to feel sympathy for someone who lives in a gated community, there are some kids who, because of where they live, now have to walk two miles just to get the bus.
It's 8 a.m. and 13-year-old Kendall Attwood is getting ready for school.
After breakfast, it's time to catch the bus.
But today, Fox 4 is tagging along and we've invited Lee County School Board Member Don Armstrong to come with us.
The bus stop used to be by Kendall's house.
But this year, in an effort to curb long bus rides, the district is consolidating routes and no longer entering gated communities.
Meaning, Kendall must now walk to the nearest public road - which is just over two miles away. The district's own Web site says kids shouldn't walk more than a mile and a half.
"So this is an idea of what she'll be carrying,” said Kendall's mother, handing Don Armstrong a bag filled with books.
“Well because we're happy to walk to the bus stop today," said Armstrong, "I'll carry this backpack for her then."
With the sun beating down on us, we head for the bus stop. But the weight of Kendall's books is already weighing on Armstrong.
“My shoulder's hurting,” said Armstrong. “Yeah I'm sweating a lot right now.”
Armstrong isn't the only one feeling the heat. Kendall is struggling with the walk as well.
“I don't think I could walk this every day because," she said. "We're barely at the half way point and I'm like drenched in sweat.”
“Can your parents drive you?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
“No," she said, "they'd be at work.”
With no sidewalks, we stay to the side. Thirty minutes later we make it to the front of the gated community - on time. Finally, bus 1041 shows up - 14 minutes late.
“I have a hard time asking these students to make this walk," said Armstrong. "It seems pretty excessive."
MATT GRANT, REPORTER