The parents of a high school Freshman are looking for answers after their daughter was left alone at her school bus stop. 14-year-old Shae Peilstocker plays on Leo's golf team. Last Friday she was told she couldn't board the bus when she showed up with her golf clubs.
"The driver shook her head and said you can't have these on here and I said 'are you serious'? The door closed and the bus pulled away. I stood their for the longest time by myself, then I used my cell phone to call my Mom", said Shae Peilstocker.
Shae was told the clubs could be a weapon in a crash. Both of her parents were at work, so Shae found a neighbor to take her to school. Her Mother says she didn't know the clubs weren't allowed on the bus and can't believe her daughter was left alone.
"I don't care about the golf clubs, I have a major concern that my daughter was left. We have 2 sex offenders that live within a short distance of that stop", said Lori Ambrose, Shae's Mother.
School districts look to the School Bus Safety Committee for guidance and they work with the Indiana State Police. While the rule is gray, it says that anything that is too large to fit safely in your lap, or under the seat, should not be on the bus.
East Allen's Transportation Director, Mel Falkner said this is the first time the district has had a problem with golf clubs. He did say every year they see issues with band equipment that is too large for a student to carry on.
"we don't want to leave kids, we did just have a meeting with our State Police contact and if a driver is pulled over and an item like that is on board, they'll be ticketed, next year we'll make sure to be more clear with what we send out regarding what can be carried on a bus", said Mel Falkner.
We spoke to a number of different school corporations and while the rule is interpreted a little bit differently, the consensus was the clubs should not be allowed on the bus. However, they also agreed there has to be a better option than leaving the student at the stop alone.
Shae only rides the bus once a week and from now on, she'll leave her clubs with her golf coach. Some new school buses have equipment cages built in for larger items.
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