A Two Mile parent has garnered some political support in her effort to get her children safely to and from school.
On Wednesday, District of Sicamous council and staff received a request from Melissa Fallis, who is in the process of appealing a school bus route change that requires her daughters, ages six and eight, to cross Highway 97A to catch the school bus. In an email to council, Fallis says her eight-year-old daughter suffers from epileptic seizures, and can black out at any time for up to 30 seconds, adding to her concern for her kids having to cross the highway.
School District #83 has stated the Two Mile school bus stop is considered a courtesy, as it is technically within walking distance according to school district policy.
To be eligible for regular transportation to and from school, students in kindergarten to Grade 3 must live four kilometres or more from the nearest school, while students in grades four to 12 must live more than 4.8 kilometres away. Fallis’ residence is 3.9 kilometres away.
Fallis is contesting this policy, arguing there be an appeals process for parents of students whose “required walking route to school poses a threat to their safety,” and that bus transportation be provided for routes determined to be unsafe.
Council unanimously supported a resolution to have staff review the policy change request provided by Fallis to see if district support can be provided.
“I don’t know if any of you have tried to cross Highway 97, but I work there and try to cross that highway quite a bit and it’s insane, and it’s dangerous, and there’s no way we should be sending little kids across that highway,” commented Coun. Colleen Anderson.
In addition, district community planner Mike Marrs said he would also bring the matter up in discussions with the Ministry of Highways and Transportation regarding traffic studies being done in the Two Mile area, adding staff will be talking to the ministry about interconnectivity across the highway and speed limits through the area.
“I’m sure they will be concerned about this this issue as well,” said Marrs.
Fallis is grateful council is willing to offer support, and was also pleased to learn about the traffic studies and that the posted speed limits may change.