GIBSONTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Gibsonton mom is fighting to get her daughter’s school bus stop reassigned but says she keeps running into dead ends with Hillsborough Schools transportation officials.
Most days, Beth Spangenberg’s 11-year-old daughter walks 0.6 miles to and from the bus stop. With multiple kids and only one family car, Spangenberg doesn’t have many other options.
The stretch to the bus stop has no sidewalks and very few lights. Because Cadence goes to a magnet school in Tampa, she gets picked up early in the morning and dropped off late in the day.
“The distance isn’t the problem,” Spangenberg explained. “It’s totally the hazards involved.”
Spangenberg had enough when she found out a registered sexual predator lives along her daughter’s walk.
“That’s my baby, I don’t want anything to happen to her,” she said. “If something happened to her because I couldn’t pick her up at the bus stop, what would I do?” Spangenberg said.
Florida law considers 1.5 miles between home and assigned bus stop a “reasonable walking distance” for any student not otherwise eligible for transportation.
Cadence’s bus drives past the private road they live on both morning and night. Her mother doesn’t understand why her bus stop couldn’t be reassigned to the end of the road.
More than a hundred families have filed paperwork with the district reporting hazardous walking conditions to school or the school bus so far this school year, according to a spokesperson with Hillsborough Schools.
Spangenberg says her multiple calls and emails to the transportation department have not been returned but she won’t stop fighting for a safer bus stop.
“It’s something worth fighting for,” she said.