Parents in Austintown express concerns about school safety - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Parents in Austintown express concerns about school safety

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - From walking to riding to school, some parents in Austintown come together to share their concerns about safety on their school district's campus.
 
At a meeting, parents voiced their concerns over crossing guards being struck by cars, and safety of children riding buses, students being dropped off at the new school campus, overall traffic, and communication.
 
Lori Riley says the Austintown schools have great teachers and is a great school but could be better.
 
Riley says last week when she had to drive her son to school, the lines of parents waiting was way too long. She adds some people were dropping their kids off on Racoon Road, causing more hazards.
 
During the meeting a woman who tells 21 News she is a crossing guard, says the training has been inconsistent and has not been uniform. She believes a partnership with having Chief Bob Gavalier from Austintown handling the training could help cut down on the accidents.
 
The men and women say they want to educate the public about problems. One problem is the board would not allow a video of a public meeting to be broadcast which would be a violation of the Ohio Revised Code.
 
The parents believe the district was trying to hide the behavior by an incumbent board member in a bad light. Superintendent Vince Colaluca says the video of the meeting was eventually broadcast.
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People here say their complaints have fallen on deaf ears and it's time to vote for new candidates and unseat all incumbents.
 
David Daichendt says he became involved because of the way the district made changes in picking up K through 3rd graders. Daichendt says the district put the children at unsafe intersection bus stops.
 
But Colaluca, who is speaking for the board, says the district does not have door to door pick up.
 
He says the roads on campus were designed with safety in mind after studies were paid for by the Ohio School's Facility Commission.
 
Colaluca says the charge by the Ohio Highway Patrol was dropped after it was found the bus was not over loaded with kids, but children were sitting with more than the number of kids allowed in a seat. He says the more than 3,000 kids who ride the buses are safe.
 
The Superintendent says Racoon Road does have a lot of traffic and should be a three lane in his opinion, but adds that matter would be costly and would be in the Mahoning Commissioners hands.
 
He says that road has been in place for decades and the district has no control over that. He asks parents to use patience at high traffic times.
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