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Lakota Local Schools: We're aware of concerns about a bus stop in front of a registered sex offender's home

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Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 18, 2022

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Bus stop confusion in a Lakota Local School District neighborhood caused safety concerns for parents who say their children are being dropped off in front of a registered sex offender's home. The district said it is well aware of the situation.

Countryside mobile home park resident Tony Barnes says students are being dropped off and picked on Ringling Street. The corner is directly in front of the home of a man convicted of a sexual offense instead of at the entrance to the community where the front office is located.

“I called the school district about it,” Barnes said. “I called them last year. They didn’t do nothing.”

Barnes lives across the street from the stop and says he watches daily when the bus driver comes down the road to drop off and pick up students.

“My concern is the kids,” he said. “I've got grandkids and I wouldn’t want the bus stop to be right there.”

When he contacted officials at the Lakota Local School District, he said they told him the bus driver could not go through the park because the roads were narrow. In a statement to WCPO, Lakota Local Schools said in part the neighborhood's narrow street with parked cars on it "creates an unsafe environment for students when getting on and off a school bus."

"With safety and security always our first priority, members of our operations team, as well as our transportation provider, have spoken with the community management to see what options may be available," the district said. "With the often congested streets and traffic, it has been determined that our students can get on and off the bus in the safest manner at the current stop.

"We are aware of the concerns about this particular location, as are the bus driver and school resource officer. The bus driver has been instructed to make sure the students have left the stop safely before continuing the route. Should the driver have any concerns whatsoever, they know to contact our SRO immediately."

The district said they have been aware of the concern for several years, noting they repeatedly communicate the reasoning for the stop's location to families.

Barnes also said he was never notified when the man moved into the park. The Butler County Sheriff's Office told WCPO as long as a sex offender is in their database, they do not have to send a notice to their neighbors.

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