YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Long Walk to School


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YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Long Walk to School

By Angela Monroe. CREATED Jan 8, 2014

 Bella Vista Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs that just opened on Monday.

A concerned parent has reached out to us because she is worried about her children's safety as they cross busy intersections to reach their school. 
Cat Hernandez's two children attend Bella Vista Elementary, but to get to school, they have to walk a mile and a half.
"I like the fact that they do have a new school, but I don't like the fact that there's no transportation for them," said Hernandez, "They have only offered me the fact of transferring my students, my kids to a different school, which they like the school they are at, their friends are there, the teachers are good to them."
School district officials told us because of severe budget cuts, transportation was cutback years ago.
"For Bella Vista, the walking distances may be a little shorter than some of the other schools because of terrain and because of it being brand new," said Joan Boiko with Palm Springs Unified School District.
Cat would like to see crossing guards at busy intersections.
"As a chief my biggest concern in our city is the safety of kids that go to school, and so yes I'm always concerned and it keeps me up at night," said Desert Hot Springs Police Chief, Daniel Bressler.
The city employs three crossing guards that the police department oversees.
"It's not enough, that's not enough, they need more," said Hernandez..
"We wish we had more crossing guards, and we wish we had more officers, so we work with what we have and anybody that has a concern, feel free to voice it, and we can re-evaluate at any time," said Chief Bressler.
The school district told us they could re-evaluate the bus boundary later.
"Boundaries are always subject to change, so they may not remain the same for next year, like I said we'd love to be able to provide transportation for every students that request it, we can't do it," said Boiko.
"We only live, less than three blocks from the bus stop, there's no reason the kids couldn't walk there," said Hernandez.
Those three blocks mean a three-mile round-trip walk for her children.
The police chief told us besides the crossing guard, they've also had officers at the school each day.
The school district also said because the state budget looks improved, increased us transportation could be addressed again for their schools.