LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - Students all across Kentuckiana are starting to return to the classrooms. The one place that most students start and end their day is at their neighborhood bus stops. But some parents are concerned about the safety of those bus stop.
According to Rick Caple, Director of Transportation Services for Jefferson County Public Schools, "no matter where you live, if you go on the sex offender list you're going to find a sex offender lives a mile or closer to your bus stop."
That's news that no parent wants to hear, but unfortunately, it's a reality. A reality that JCPS. is open to talking about.
"We work individually with parents," says Caple. "If they find a sex offender and their child has to cross in front of them to get to a bus, they need to call us so we can possibly change the stop."
We checked two locations against the Kentucky State Police's Sex Offender database, including our own address at 725 South Floyd Street, which is close to bus stops for Meyzeek Middle School and Central High School.
During our check of the sex offender website, one sex offender showed up on the database as living within a half-mile radius. Another check of a Ballard High School bus stop on U.S. Hwy. 42, returned a result of eight registered sex offenders living within a half-mile to a mile radius.
Although that doesn't automatically mean any imminent danger, it does leave some parents concerned. LMPD spokeswoman Officer Carey Klain says Louisville hasn't had a big problem with bus stop abductions, but she acknowledges the threat is always there.
"Over the years we get calls, and there have been occasions where a child would report that someone tried to get them to get into their car," Klain said.
Klain offered this advice for students approached by strangers or suspicious individuals.
"Just walk away as quickly as possible and get into a group," Klain said.
As always, Klain urges parents and students to remain aware of the surrounding area.
"Know your neighborhood, know your surroundings, know who your friends are and who are not your friends, and don't talk to a stranger," Klain said.
Klain says parents can also help keep their kids safe by taking turns at supervising at their child's bus stop.
"You know all the parents obviously can't be at the bus stop and some parents send their children out there, but if the parents can get together and take turns supervising the bus stop, this will make it a safer place."