Pinellas student has to walk by sex offenders on way to school - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas student has to walk by sex offenders on way to school

Posted: Updated:
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

When her son was ready to start middle school in Pinellas County, Dawn Mencarini assumed he would ride the bus.

She mapped her Tropic Hills address and determined her home was 2.4 miles from Oak Grove Middle School.

But,the Pinellas School District transportation department told her that her son could walk on the Pinellas Trail and cut the distance to a little over a mile and a half, so he would not receive bus service.

Mencarini was surprised the school district's recommended walking route would take him right by an apartment complex at 2500 Harn Blvd, where dozens of sex offenders live."They literally are walking in front of...probably their living room windows..where they can see them walking by," said Mencarini.

The Pinellas Sheriff's office confirms 47 sex offenders, 10 of them predators, live at three apartment complexes clustered along the Pinellas Trail at Harn Blvd.

Mencarini is concerned about middle school children walking a predictable route, at a regular time where they can be easily observed by so many sex offenders.  "They see these children walking by, at 9:05, whatever, the risk is there and I fear they're waiting for something to happen before they do something about it," said Mencarini.

She first contacted the Pinellas School Districts transportation office to appeal the decision this summer, and was denied.

When 8 On Your Side inquired, the school district sent this statement, "Bus transportation cannot be made available to a student due to proximity of a walk route to a sexual offender's residence.  It would be extremely difficult to provide bus transportation to all students in Pinellas that have a walk route in proximity of a sexual offender's residence."

There are restrictions when it comes to bus stops.  If there is a sexual offender under conditional release within a 1000 feet of a bus stop, the transportation department will relocate the bus stop.

In the meantime, Mencarini plans to drive her son to school.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:49:54 GMT
    One of the dogs left at the soldier's houseOne of the dogs left at the soldier's house
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
  • Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Wyoming gas explosion prompts evacuation of town

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:14:45 GMT
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
    Residents and emergency crews were waiting for a fire to burn itself out after an explosion at a natural gas processing plant in a small town in southwestern Wyoming.
  • Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:05:53 GMT
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those...
    Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those penalties...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.