Community ISD parents petition to make “walk zone” near elementary school safer | #schoolsaftey

LAVON ( – Some families in Community ISD are petitioning the district for changes to a new “walk zone” near an elementary school.

They’re concerned about safety because they say children are walking to school in the dark.

 At 6:48 a.m. the sun is still 20 minutes from rising, and yet Jennifer and Cecil White’s 2nd-grade son is well on his way to school.

“At its darkest, it’s a little unnerving,” said Cecil White. “Even as an adult, I’m cautious because you’ve heard about coyotes attacking kids.”

The trail is the shortest route to Ne Smith Elementary School for many families, yet it has no lights. There’s a creek that runs across the trail that has no railing. 

A bus is no longer an option for those who live within 2 miles of the school, in accordance with the Texas Education Agency. 

Jodeci Simpson walks his 1st-grade nephew an extra 30 minutes to avoid the trail.

“The snakes, the bugs, all of it. I’m afraid of it biting my nephew or anybody else’s kid because they let their kids walk on their own,” he said.

“You’re always watching the wood line, which can throw spots on the trail. The wood line is kind of close to the sidewalk,” said White. 

Posted at the entrance to the trail is a sign that says it’s a code violation to be on the trail more than 30 minutes before sunrise. And as the sun rises later, parents said that will make it even more difficult to get their children to school on time.

In a statement, the district said, in part: 

“Although it is not the school district’s property, Community ISD has made the decision to put one of the district’s security resource officers on the path in both the mornings and afternoons of all school days. We have also worked with the City of Lavon to have some of the trees trimmed back from the path, increasing visibility….We are open to improvements to the path in partnership with the City of Lavon if they choose to make any changes.”

But parents said it’s not enough and they’ve started a petition which has more than 100 signatures to implore the district to do more.

“With lighting, I would feel a lot better,” said White. “You can even do solar lighting or just a lit pathway, just anything other than nothing.” 

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