Stone's throw too close

What's one-tenth of a mile? To a local family, it's a matter of riding the bus to Norwalk High School or walking 45 minutes each way.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010


What's one-tenth of a mile?

To a local family, it's a matter of riding the bus to Norwalk High School or walking 45 minutes each way.

To Norwalk City Schools officials, it is a matter of following district regulations.

Norwalk resident Stacey Maynard, who has two teenagers in school, disagrees with district officials about the distance between her home, 55 Milan Ave. and the high school, 350 Shady Lane Drive.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, public school districts in the state may, but are not required to, provide transportation for high school students. Each school board, the law states, has the right to set limits as to which students can ride. The Norwalk City Schools Board of Education has voted to offer transportation to high school students living two or more miles from school.

Dustin Brown, the district's director of support services, said he and Superintendent Wayne Babcanec have measured the distance twice each. The result each time: 1.9 miles. Maynard said she looked up the mileage on, and it came out to a little more than two miles. Maynard's older son Brian, 25, said he drove the route with Babcanec, and the distance was 1.9 miles. However, Brian said he also drove the route himself, and the result was more than two miles.

Brown said he and Babcanec measured the distance by taking the most direct route, as required by state law. They started at the bus lane at Norwalk High School, went out of the parking lot, took a right onto Shady Lane, a right on Norwood Avenue, a left on Benedict Avenue and a right onto Main Street and a left onto Milan Avenue to the residence.

Brown said he and Babcanec stand by their measurements.

So, since Maynard lives less than two miles from the school, her teenagers, 15-year-old Leslie and 16-year-old Christopher, walk 45 minutes each way to and from school when they cannot get a ride. They leave home at about 6:30 a.m. on walking days.

Brian had been taking them, but said he's been busy since having a baby with his girlfriend. Stacey Maynard said she does not have a vehicle, while her husband is at work before Leslie and Christopher go to school. Christopher does not yet have a driver's license.

Brian Maynard said he doesn't think it is fair his siblings have to walk 45 minutes each way.

"What are the kids supposed to do come a rainy cold day?" he asked rhetorically. "They expect them to walk in it. What's it hurting, a couple extra couple kids getting on the bus."

View Larger Map

The map above shows the route from 55 Milan Ave. to Norwalk High School. Google Maps calculates the distance at 2.0 miles.

Brown said he is not singling out the Maynards. In fact, he estimated he gets 10 such complaints from parents each school year. The largest surge in calls, he said, come when children are entering high school. Brown said that is probably because through eighth grade, Norwalk City Schools' students were eligible to ride the bus if they lived a mile or more from their respective school. As they enter high school, that suddenly changes to two miles or more.

Brown said it all boils down to his requirement to follow the rules established by the school board and the Ohio Revised Code.

"I'm not trying to be insensitive to the situation, but unfortunately I have a policy that I have to enforce," he said. "(The Maynards) are not the only ones that are in this condition. This is not a conspiracy against one family; this is about being bus-eligible."

In fact, Brown said he thinks school officials are being more than fair. He noted the Ohio Revised Code stipulates that kindergarten through eighth grade students living more than two miles from the school are eligible to ride.

"Our school board has chosen to exceed the Ohio Revised Code by doing one mile or more," he said. "The school board has chosen to do more for the community than required."

But, the prospect of walking in frigid weather worries Brian Maynard.

"It concerns me a lot because I don't think any kid should walk in it," he said. "I've worked in it eight hours, 10 hours a day."

Brian said his siblings are concerned as well: They're not looking forward to having to walk during the chill of winter.


Compromise (Ano...

Admittedly I didn't grow up in the Norwalk area, but where I went to school the bus stopped on many corners of sidestreets and picked up multiple children from homes down the street. It made the routes much faster because stops were consolidated, it limited walks, and it made maximum use of bus space. If the law has not been changed since I was in school (which I admit was about 10 years ago) to prevent this because of some liability rules, Norwalk should consider this option. I know there are some odd rules about when students are actually in the care of the school and when they are not, but this seems like something that could help a lot of people. Perhaps, if it was an issue of liability, parents could volunteer to stand on the corner until the bus arrives and be "in charge." If it's good enough for a field trip, it ought to be good enough for a bus stop.

Teacher (Anonymous)

Where are his books?

hey swiss famil...

why do you and gas guzzler type the same? and who cares about the price of gas other than you. you tool.

Truth from Out ...

"Ohmigod I have to walk like, two miles! Like, that's so, like, not fair!" *rolling eyes*

Walking is good for your health, good for the environment, and good for your character. With kids slumped over desks staring at computer screens with cutesy little sparkly graphics on them, and spending all their time either harassing adults at the mall or doing something 'structured' instead of being alone to figure themselves out, these parents should be thankful their kids have the opportunity to walk somewhere. All kids should have to walk. Let's cut down on the obesity rates, one school at a time.

Or, get a bike. When it snows, walk.

disgusted in no...

When I was in 7th grade I had to walk 2.5 miles to and from school back then you had to be 3 miles from the school to ride a bus. Guess what it didnt kill me and it didnt bother me. I never got in trouble on the the way there or home either I guess it depends on the kid. The only thing I would be worried about with them walking is the growing amount of sex offenders in this town. Back then our parents didnt have to worry about sex offenders on practically every other street either when we walked to school.

.swiss family.....

to "disgusted in norwalk" thank you for your input , it makes alot of sense , but i do have to correct you when you state that "our parents didn't have to worry about sex offenders on every other corner" i'm sorry , but child molestation is not something new , it has been going on forever , and you might not have been aware of your parent's concern , but i'm sure that they worried about it . it really wasn't discussed much , years ago , but the danger and the parental concern was definately still there . and to 'Compromise" you do make alot of sense , but alot of people in here dont want to hear logic , they just don't want their precious little babies to have to walk to one special area on the street , so the bus only has to make one stop per area , they want the bus to make a special stop in front of every house , so that they can send their child out at the last second , and keep them from interacting with any other kids , because their kids ar SO special ..we used to have fun with the other kids that were waiting for the bus with us , but that was in the past ..and as logical as it is to want to get the parents involved , that is really asking too much of them , they don't want to be a solution to the problem , they just want to feel persecuted , and have something to complain about

disgusted in No...

Yes I am sure that our parents did worry about some people here in town but not nearly as many as there is today. I have young children so I get the alert's via email when a sex offender moves near the amount of sex offenders in this county is astounding. I am not sure why there are so many maybe society, movies, lack of morals, parental guidance. Whatever people want to blame it on I guess. What I do know is the punishment for these acts is too light. Every parent should sign up for these alerts and show them to their children they show their picture at least the kids would know who to stay away from.

to swiss family...

Re-READ what you wrote. Gibberish, just gibberish. tool.

Swiss family 'r...

...talking about school uniforms. Talk about abuse!

"there are people in authority , and there are rules , and the rules must be obeyed , by everyone . and that the people making the rules should be given a degree of respect .. these are 2 valuable lesson's that most parents are supposed to teach their kids..." Look at todays atheletes and celebraties and how they act. These are the people our kids emulate! :( These people don't think they have to obey rules and they certainly don't give any degree of respect to people in authority! So let them (our children) learn their lessons now while they are in school BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! ! ! Remember, kids have NO "Freedoms" or "Rights" until they are 18 AND out of High School! "

Tammy R. (Anonymous)

I'd hate to be THEIR under a regime. What planet are you living on?

supporter (Anon...

If I recall the school district is responsible for kid's getting to and from school no matter if they walk or ride a bus.I'm sure they would'nt step up and take resposability if something happened.

swiss family......

to "supporter " i love it , it is always someone elses fault , but never yours or your childrens ! grow up and be accountable for your own actions ! i think that the buses make too many stops . I have been behind them , and they seem to make a stop about every 4 house or so ? why can't kids gather all at one place , like one spot for each block , so the bus doesn't have to stop so often?

Re: swiss famil...

Did you happen to fall off a cabbage truck rolling through town?

There are gathering points for children such as League, Pleasant, and the other schools. The parents of your so-called 'precious little babies' can ask the questions they are asking. If you don't like it don't vote for it. Something to be said for someone who gets their identity solely out of criticizing others.

Seems like you are in the 'can't have it so suck it up' group. Is it more like 'if I don't need it they don't either' thinking?

If the kids get to school on time that bus can stop as many times as the driver wants to. I hear the 'I walked 12 miles to and from school uphill both ways' enough. I walked to school. Forgive me if I don't believe walking to school creates some kind of character. Walking to school shows you it is better to have a ride, on a bus if available!

It's like fighting a war and losing it. The boat ride over was sure nice and we learned a lot but we still lost. Think SCHOOL...LEARNING.

And as for your 'authority' writing in the Register blog, sounds nice. Here's character for you, instead of teaching a child every grownup, every person wearing a badge, every person who claims authority should be respected, tell them to make the decision for themselves. The person give the authority.

Managers are hired/appointed. Leaders are identified by the people. You go right on with identifying your leaders by their pretty clothes. Uniforms, I hear the cabbage truck again.

Ultimately, I think we could solve this issue in the short term. On the major routes we have signs welcoming people to Norwalk. I like them.

We need a sign on ALL the roads going out. "Thank you for visiting Norwalk. When you leave, take someone with you!" I will pay for them and dedicate all of them to swiss family.

And Swiss, if the uniforms are such a big hit, should we make them wear boots and walk a certain way? Wait, that leads to bad things, such as following insane leaders, and is not a good idea, at least to me.

I am done thinking about this. Made my head hurt along with other parts of my body.

To whoever it w...

You are my hero.

Just wondering ...

swiss family wrote... "Look at todays atheletes and celebraties and how they act. These are the people our kids emulate!" (forgive her spelling) I don't know why your kids look up to these kids, i.e. Paris, Britney, Lindsay, Nicole, just to name a few, but my kids see what these idiots 'do' for a living and they would like no part of that. Maybe you should try to be a role model for your kids, maybe you should change your attitude about some of the nasty comments you've left on these 'public' pages first. Turn your tv off and start being the adult!

hope (Anonymous)

One could only hope that swissmiss grows up!By the way swiss,I'm the party that posted about the gas$.So in short, you are WRONG again!!!Quit speculating, don't blame others for your lack of commonsense!Just to let folks know-I went to Avon last Saturday & I paid [drumroll please]$2.57 a gallon! That was the average price there too!Price got higher as i got closer into Norwalk.Norwalk being the highest! I went to Fremont last Thursday, prices were slightly lower than Norwalk & Monroeville.I CARE about the gas prices!One never knows when the bottom might fall out!I know that I have taken a great loss in the past 6 weeks or so in the market.It would be nice to hold onto it for our retirement!I pray!

Pain in the gas...

I'm tired of this gas price wars in every comment section, let's stick to the subject at hand. But if you must know, it was 25 cents cheaper a gallon all the way rt. 4 south to past Marion. Keep burning up that gas looking for the cheapest!

gas guzzler (An...

thank you to everyone who has confirmed what i have been talking about all summer long . the price of gas is at least 20 to 30 cents higher per gallon in Norwalk , than any of the surrounding area ! it is worth it to me to drive to monroeville , or avery , to not only save money for myself , but to also show the norwalk gas station owners that we won't tolerate them gouging us and overcharging us for something that we need . also , thank-you to the NORWALK REFLECTOR for "roasting " the gas station owners for needlessly overcharging their patrons, neighbors, and friends !

swiss family......

i do have a couple of old bikes that these kids can have , so they don't have to walk . it would be so much faster for them , if they rode a bike !and great exercise too

For the Last Fr...

Economics Prof. Pat Welch of St. Louis University says any boycott of "bad guy" gasoline in favor of "good guy" brands would have some unintended (and unhappy) results.
Welch says the law of supply and demand is set in stone. "To meet the sudden demand," he says, "the good guys would have to buy gasoline wholesale from the bad guys, who are suddenly stuck with unwanted gasoline."
So motorists would end up . . .paying more for it, because they'd be buying it at fewer stations.
And yes, oil companies do buy and sell from one another. Mike Right of AAA Missouri says, "If a company has a station that can be served more economically by a competitor's refinery, they'll do it."
Right adds, "In some cases, gasoline retailers have no refinery at all. Some convenience-store chains sell a lot of gasoline and buy it all from somebody else's refinery."
A boycott of a couple of brands of gasoline won't result in lower overall prices. Prices at all the non-boycotted outlets would rise due to the temporarily limited supply and increased demand, making the original prices look cheap by comparison. The shunned outlets could then make a killing by offering gasoline at its "normal" (i.e., pre-boycott) price or by selling off their output to the non-boycotted companies, who will need the extra supply to meet demand. The only person who really gets hurt in this proposed scheme is the service station operator, who has almost no control over the price of gasoline.
The only practical way of reducing gasoline prices is through the straightforward means of buying less gasoline, not through a simple and painless scheme of just shifting where we buy it. The inconvenience of driving less is a hardship too many people apparently aren't willing to endure, however.

..................................Now please quit being rooooootarded, you are not doing anything to the price of gas... Maybe the Reflector should roast idiot toads who can't stay on topic, accept reality, or admit that they ARE BEING COUNTERPRODUCTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: For the Las...

You, too, are my hero. I'm afraid your message will fall upon deaf ears. These kids have no idea, and if they like to 'joyride', then keep looking for the better price. Hey, I just paid $3.89 for a gallon of milk today! La Dee freakin' da!

re: re: re: re:...

You must be an attorney that charges by the hour.

a parent (Anonymous)

Does this boy need money for a haircut, and as the teacher asked - where are his books???

Pain in the Gas...
Re: Re: For the...

You should boycott Norwalk milk... Drive to Columbus to get milk. That will force the price gouging milk sellers in Norwalk to drop their price...... Wait doesn't that sound really stupid? hmmmmm....

my child walks ...

welcome to reality people, we live in a world with rules and laws, i am amazed to read all this complaining of the bussing situation, it is what it is, your whining isn't going to change the fact if your child is eligible or not to ride the bus, mr. brown is only doing his job, i to have had dealings with him, he's a fair and honest man, hats off to you mr. brown and ALL your drivers!!!!!!

You know what e...

I'm glad busses don't run on milk.

Milk Guzzler (A...

thank you to everyone who has confirmed what i have been talking about all summer long . the price of milk is at least 20 to 30 cents higher per gallon in Norwalk , than any of the surrounding area ! it is worth it to me to drive to monroeville , or avery , to not only save money for myself , but to also show the norwalk grocery store owners that we won't tolerate them gouging us and overcharging us for something that we need. also , thank-you to the NORWALK REFLECTOR for "roasting " the grocery store owners for needlessly overcharging their patrons, neighbors, and friends !

gas guzzler (An...

wow , you are really trying hard to put a smoke screen on the true facts , it makes me believe that you are a Norwalk gas station owner , who is really 'milking" us out of our hard earned money , by over inflating the price that you are charging us for the gas that we purchase from you ! i wish that you would be alittle logical , and realize the we are not protesting the fact that gas is priced higher than it was in the recent past , what we are protesting , Dorothy, is the fact that the price of gas in Norwalk , is 20 to 30 cents HIGHER PER GALLON than what we can buy it for in other local areas, like Monroeville, or Avery ! it is ironic though , Dorothy , that you are using milk over pricing as away of muddling up the real facts , because as we all know , milk is readily available at most of the Norwalk gas stations too , and we should really check the price that you are charging us for that too , i mean if you are going to gouge us in the price of gas , that we pay , you are probably doing the same thing with all of your retail items

Listen (Anonymous)

The only thing you are going to accomplish is actually RAISING the price of gas stations around Norwalk to their level. Its supply and demand... The reason gas is cheaper there is because.... listen carefully.... there are less people driving to from and through there.

All of this is a moot point. The important fact is you are a troll that is using these boards to post your bogus crap theory in a thread of a completely unrelated topic. You are annoying and people are telling you are wrong because we are tired of reading your crap in every section on the site. We are hoping to get through your thick skull that you are doing nothing in hopes that you will stop spewing your crap.Obviously its not working so we will go a different route... I don't care if you think you are right or not this is not the place to wage your war. You posted about gas prices in the comments on Someone's obituary for chist sake. use your head, you are an idiot..... quit posting.