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:
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

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>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Stunning twist in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Mother to take stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:15:39 GMT
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, testifies Wednesday.
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, testifies Wednesday.
  • Lakeland residents not happy with answers about coyotes

    Lakeland residents not happy with answers about coyotes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:00 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:00:36 GMT
    About 75 people gathered at Lakeland City Hall Wednesday night and many of them weren’t happy with what they heard about coyotes that have been mutilating and killing cats in Lakeland’s Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood.
    About 75 people gathered at Lakeland City Hall Wednesday night and many of them weren’t happy with what they heard about coyotes that have been mutilating and killing cats in Lakeland’s Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood.
  • Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:37:40 GMT
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
  • 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>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
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.