Bettye Myers Middle School
SHADY SHORES –– Some Denton County parents say their child's daily mile-long walk to and from school is a dangerous trek.
A cell phone video shot by a parent in Shady Shores shows Bettye Myers Middle School students walking to school, alarmingly close to the traffic zipping by them.
"There are no sidewalks," said Amy Enoch, a parent whose daughter attends the middle school. "So they either have to walk on the streets or the ditch, the drainage ditch next to it."
Myers Middle School is the district's newest campus.
With no sidewalks or school zones along the route leading to it, parents are calling on the Denton Independent School District to declare the path hazardous and provide bus service. The district says they can't due to funding, so they're taking other steps to help.
Parents say the lack of sidewalks isn’t the only troubling problem when their kids walk. There are also no school zones on Shady Shores Road, until you’re directly in front of the Middle School.
The issue is alarming enough that Shady Shores Mayor Cindy Spencer fears a child is going to get injured.
"We have no room for sidewalks, even if we could conceivably afford them, which we can't," said the mayor.
The state pays for students who live at least two miles from campus to ride the bus. It also pays for kids who live closer on routes considered dangerous. But Denton ISD decided to spend it on elementary students.
So while a fifth grader can ride a bus to his or her school, a sixth grader living next door has to walk or get a ride to the middle school.
"Everybody's pointing a finger at everybody else, saying ‘no we can't do it, no we can't do it’, said Enoch. "In the meantime, our kids are walking on these streets with fast traffic and no speed zones."
Denton ISD is working with parents to establish car pools. It's opening schools early and closing them later to help working parents. A district spokesperson assured parents they're doing everything possible to help students get safely to and from school.