APS parents worry about walking policy

2:13 PM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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VINE CITY, GA. --The parents point to abandoned buildings, blocked sidewalks and out of control landscaping. They say no fear is unreasonable when you're trying to protect your own small children.

"It could be holes, it could be dogs, it could be sexual predators hiding in bushes, there are just a number of things that could be very damaging," said APS parent Sharon Banks. She has three elementary-aged children at Bethune.

When Atlanta Public Schools started up last week, they decided to enforce walk zones. Middle and High School students living within 1.5 miles of their schools and Elementary students within 1 mile will no longer get bus service. It's a rule that's been on the books for several years, but never enforced.

"Because I'm an overprotective parent, I might have to escort them to and from school every day, just for my own sanity, just to make sure that they are safe," Banks said.

Banks doesn't currently have a car, and already arranges carpools for herself. Now she'll have to try to get rides for her kids as well, or walk with them when she can't.

Atlanta Public Schools spokesperson Keith Bromery said the new enforcement policy is about efficiency and cost savings. But he did not provide 11Alive with estimates about how much money is saved by the move. He said exceptions to the rule will be considered in certain cases.

"But you know we're in a large metropolitan area, any area could be said to be a crime area," Bromery said. "There has to be something specific that would require us to break that mile or mile and a half walking zone."

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