Parents in some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods have convinced Atlanta Public Schools to reinstate "courtesy stops" for many of the children who live within walking distance of their schools.
A school district spokesman announced late Wednesday that the district will add 49 buses to its fleet and 850 new bus stops.
In a news release, Keith Bromery said, "APS has developed a strategy based on a review of the issues that surfaced since the start of classes."
Several parents complained that they got little notice that the school district - for budget reasons - was re-enforcing an old rule: Children who live within a mile of their elementary school or one and a half miles from their middle or high school are not eligible for bus service.
That forced children in some inner-city neighborhoods to walk to school, passing abandoned houses and places where drug dealers and prostitutes gather.
"You've got some psychos, killings out here," said parent Teisa Willis. "I wouldn't want anybody to snatch kids up, so you want to keep them safe."
"I think it's great," said Adam Stanley who doesn't have school-age children of his own, but walks some of his neighbors to and from Gideons Elementary School to help their working parents.
"We're excited to have the buses come back for the parents who don't have the opportunity to walk their kids to school, especially in a little rougher neighborhood," said Stanley.
Bromery said the changes will cost an estimated $2.8 million, which district officials must squeeze from an already tight budget.
He said the district also will add extra crossing guards to help students cross busy streets and plans to address safety issues by collaborating with other agencies to tackle crime and overgrown lots that impact students who walk to school.
The changes to bus routes could take several weeks, Bromery said.
Bromery said the district still welcomes input from parents. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, he said.
Changes to the bus routes will be posted weekly every Friday on the APS website, as well as by email, social media and handouts to parents.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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