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Letter: Naramata mom claims SD67 promised bus stop but refused to deliver

Bobbi Sloan bought a rural home believing a school bus would be provided
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Bobbi Sloan said she is now forced to drive 2.5 hours a day to get her kids to and from school because there is no bus provided to pick them up at her rural Naramata home. (File photo)

Dear Editor:

I am desperate for a school bus. I need help and maybe this will reach someone that can provide me that.

A couple months ago we were looking at moving to a new place outside of Naramata. I called school district 67 transportation department to make sure the kids had a school bus before we removed conditions. I made it very clear in the phone calls we couldn’t remove conditions and move to the new location without buses. They agreed and told me they would make a new stop at the end of our road.

They said SD67 drove out to the location. They provided the location as well as pick up and drop off times with me. Asked me to pay the school bus fees online. Done. Perfect.

After we removed conditions and everything was done they turn around and tell me there is no safe turn around location for a bus so they unfortunately would not provide busing.

Instead they offered me $275 a month as a transportation allowance to help cover the cost of before school care of $360 per month but only until June.

I then provided them 3 additional locations where there was plenty of room for a bus to turn around. My father drove a Kenworth, I know how much room a bus would need. None of them they would consider. I even begged for a route somewhere in between where it currently is now and our new residence. Hard no.

Then the superintendent of AIMS Roads came to our house and she told my partner that she was contacted by school district 67 and she personally provided a them with an alternate safe turnaround spot (which she sent to the school district).

Still no.

I then contacted the Ministry of Highways and they provided a letter stating they will ensure the highway is maintained to a class B “rated for school bus” highway to the locations AIMS provided.

SD67 refuses and states “the school act is not required to provide transportation to students”.

So now I am stuck with a 2 hour and 50 min daily commute to get kids to school - while I am supposed to be at work (plus $700 a month in fuel) plus a $360 monthly bill for before school child care as they will only provide me $275 allowance until June. And now facing job loss.

This has left me in tears, and is destroying me financially.

I have gone to the head of SD67 transportation, and the BC school ombudsman (which after countless calls didn’t get a call back) and now the Ministry of Education (no response as of yet)…..and now I am at a loss. I sent a notice of appeal to the school board and they wouldn’t even read it at the meeting. I have been dealing with this since Sept.

And now facing losing my job that took me 2.5 years to get.

Someone somewhere must know someone that will do the right thing and help get me the school buses they promised me to start with. I’m doing this on my own, in a new community where I don’t know anyone and it’s been a horrible time for me and the kids.

If you can help, I need you now.

Bobbi Sloan

Naramata





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