Parents Say Commercial Bus Stop Endangers School Children

Christiansburg, VA - Parents of Falling Branch Elementary students implore the Commonwealth Transportation Board to find funding to move a commercial bus stop that, they say, threatens their children.Sherri Blevins has collected dozens of police reports that detail police response to Falling Creek Elementary."It's just scary that these unauthorized visitors can have access to our children," said Blevins.All responses since MegaBus made an adjacent VDOT park-and ride an official stop for cross country travelers. "Our children's lives are at risk. We can no longer tolerate compromising the safety of this school. Over 50 documented incidents from the school alone," said Blevins.Everything has truly bubbled over since two serious issues over the past few months. In February federal marshals made a felony arrest at the stop. And just last week, police arrested a man on an outstanding larceny warrant after a school employee called police. The man was trying to get a drink of water from the school. "All around the country when school tragedies happen everybody asks afterwards, 'What could we have done differently?'. This is our chance to do it differently before something happens," said Jennifer Hatcher who has three children at the school.The change is something the district, town and county all support."Certainly our preference is that the Park and Ride location be moved. It has outgrown its current use. It started out with people just parking on school property and it has just ballooned from there," said Brenda Drake, spokeswoman for Montgomery County Schools But like everything else the fix needs millions of dollars that no one seems to have. The school system has added more security, but for parents, it isn't enough."The compromise is with our children's safety and this has to be moved. Even with the increased police patrols; even with the added signage, the permanent fence, the instructions... we still have people attempt to get into the school," said Blevins.