At the Sept. 13 Saucon Valley School Board meeting, board members listened to the concerns of parents who believe their children are being forced to wait for the school bus at a dangerous bus stop.
Board members Charles Bartolet, Lanita Lum, Susan Baxter and Michael Karabin all agreed to ride on a bus to the stop, and put the item up for official discussion at the Sept. 27 school board meeting.
The bus stop, which was originally located on Route 378, was moved to South Benner Avenue and Moravia Street, then to Clewell and Sioux streets, and lastly to Finady Avenue, near the Bethlehem-Lower Saucon Township border.
The parents who spoke said they believe the safest and best option is to relocate the bus stop back to Benner Avenue and Moravia Street.
“This is about the safety of our children,” parent Paula Steuer said.
Steuer said the first stop on Route 378 was located near a strip club.
The stops at Clewell/Sioux and Finady Avenue are dangerous because of speeding cars, icy roads, bullets and a sexual predator who lives close to the stops, she said.
The district moved the bus stop from Benner Avenue and Moravia Street because it was deemed unsafe in snowy and icy weather.
Superintendent Sandra Fellin said the stop was recently moved to Finady Avenue from Clewell and Sioux due to the parents’ concerns.
"They moved the bus stop a lousy 100 feet simply to pacify us," Steuer said. “We still have guns, fast traffic and an icy walk. A sex offender can still watch all of those kids and he doesn’t have to leave his house.”
In addition, Steuer said the bus stop is located in the Bethlehem Area School District instead of in the Saucon Valley School District. She suggested the district move the stop back to Benner Avenue and Moravia Street and provide the students with a van to provide them with the safest transportation possible.
“There is no logic to what’s being done,” said parent Cynthia Lento. “It’s adding insult to injury. It makes you so angry steam comes out of your ears. Fear is in your heart. You cannot place these children in any more danger.”
Solicitor Mark Fitzgerald said the parents’ issue with the sex offender is an issue for the township, not the school board.
Fellin said that at the new bus stop on Finady Avenue, the sex offender cannot see the children. She also said she researched the parents’ concerns about guns fired in the area and there have been no such incidents.
“We did listen. We did check up,” she said. “We do our due diligence. We do not ignore comments.”