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.


Pain in the Gas...

Gas guzzler is swiss family-anybody else notice how they tend to type EXACTLY alike? Big space between the commas...this is why I call you a tool, you just can't wake up, can you? I gave you a web page to go to and you ignored it. This comment section isn't about gas prices. They're not even about the milk prices. Why ARE you so ignorant? And who are you speaking of, Dorothy Austin? Is that who you are accusing me of being? Seems you called out JEF on these pages, too, saying he was a cop. I didn't see you reply to that. Why not? I've seen you accuse the Brants of wrong-doing. You are not very bright, and you have no idea who I am. But I know who swiss family is.

it's bull (Anon...

Walking from Milan ave to the High School, thats just plain nuts. There should be no reason why these kids cant walk to the closest bus stop.

A reasonable so...

To condense all the bus stops to just a few so that everyone that was riding the bus in the first place can continue to ride. No one would have anything to whine about. Gas use would be slimmer and the kids still ride. Why is that so hard for the school and gov't officials to figure out?

SLS (Anonymous)

If there is a bus stop close then why can these children not jump on it? The buses are empty 80% of the time. I live on Main St. - 2 blocks from St. Pauls and Main Street and the buses drive by in morning and after noon and are never full. What is the harm in them walking to a bus stop? Does Norwalk City Schools want to be responsible if anything (god forbid) happens to these kids? I would volunteer my time to drive them to school! There is no reason what so ever that this should happen. Let's see the Norwalk School board take a nice 1.9 mile walk twice a day! God only knows that they could all use it!!!!!!!!!!

SLS (Anonymous)

and just an FYI - 2 blocks from St. Pauls and I drive my kids --- due to the fact that it's a busy street!

Beth (Anonymous)

I have a daughter who rides the bus to Main St. School. On the way there, they drop kids off at pleasant. Yet my son can't get a ride to school on the bus because we live too close. It's not close enough that I would let him walk, though. I might be over-protective, but I don't want my 8-year old walking down and crossing Main St. by himself. There are a bunch of nuts around here. I just don't understand why, if there is room, he can't also ride the bus...also, other children that age. On the other hand, look at Cleveland. They have a much worse bussing problem than we can imagine.

smalltowner (An...

Just my view on this subject, but if you are in the school district (not open enrolled) then you should be able to ride the school district bus I don't care , That is the way it was when I went to school and that is the way it should be. My father was the bus supervisor for over 30 years at my school and it didn't matter ,if the kids in town that lived close wanted to walk they could or they could wait at the corner of their street and the bus would stop and pick them up. Why is this such a big deal or are Norwalk Schools so cheap (after building their new school) that they can't afford alittle consideration for these kids. Parents of Norwalk School, maybe you should remind the board that you pay for these services and you pay their wages therefor you are in a sense, their employer let them know that this is unacceptable.

gas guzzler (An...

to "pain in the gas" you are really protesting too much,are you afraid that if we continue to boycott the Norwalk gas stations,it will affect your income? i did call you Dorothy , but i never used a last name , it was you who identified yourself,so i have to ask the question? are you Dorothy Austin?honestly?and as far as calling out JE,yes i asked if he was a cop,so how is that running from it? you seem to be a big mouth,blow hard,you should be ashamed of gouging your friends , neighbors, and say that you know who swiss family is,so name themyou have never been afraid to spew your crap before,why now? And to "listen" which is also you "Dorothy" go back and re read my posts , Inever posted any gas comments on any obituary page, ever!

RE: Gas Guzzle...

I happen to know Dorothy and she is a really good person. She would not do such a thing. You have Absolutely no reason to drag her name through the mud. I use her gas station every time, and it's always a little cheaper than everywhere else. And Dorothy's last name isn't Austin anymore, for your info. So lay off. She's a good lady.

Again (Anonymous)

You're an idiot, nobody wants to read your crap on here... I don't care who you are, who Dorothy is or anybody else..... I want to read about bussing comments not your personal mission in life... go away. Stop posting about your stupid gas out.

Jim (Anonymous)

What good is it to spam our pages with stupid threats of not getting gas? If you don't want to buy it, don't buy it. Just shut up about it because nobody on here cares if you are going to retaliate. And you have to bring your stupid topic into all the pages. It's annoying. I can imagine you are in real life too.

Jim RE Again (...

We think alike! Go away Guzzler!

Ummm... (Anonymous)

You posted in the Brandt kid's obit and you got blasted for it there. Now move along little cowboy, nothing to see here.

Pain in the Gas...

No, I'm not Dorothy, you are an idiot, but I don't have to tell you that, soooooo many people just did. LOL!

wake up people ...

for the people who are whining and crying over the busing situations in norwalk...1) the spare buses that you see parked at the school garage parking lot are just that SPARES, can you say if a bus breaks down what do the drivers drive???? ding ding ding the SPARE BUSES....if your childs class has a trip when they are in school and the regularly used buses are needed for the routes hhhmmmm what do they take, THE SPARE BUSES,....2) have you seen how packed the buses are after they get to the last pick up of the route, probably not, there are as many as 3 kids to one seat but yet you say there is room. ha. 3) some of the kids on these buses are so unruly that this is the only form of discipline they get is from the bus drivers and the teachers, parents need to be that - PARENTS, ever heard of car pooling or getting along with your neighbors, and 4) MR. STINKING BROWN as some of you call him is a very respectable man and looks at all options and these parents who call mr. brown this, no wonder why you have problems in this world, i think some people need to pray and maybe they shall receive instead of being hateful and acting the way they do.....AMEN

To: Wake Up Pe...

Your condecending, self righteous tone will get you no where. This isn't Sunday school, some people don't pray, and not everyone is hateful. You sure aren't sounding biblicial and sweet. AMEN.

gas-yes again! ...

I for one DO care about the price of gas!So some should lay off others that may be posting!It's nice to get on here & read about ALL current events.And baby,the price of gas is a current & local event.Furthermore that is a line of crud about what[listen] posted!I paid $2.45 a gallon for gas today in Avon! They were all $2.45 a gallon.There are more people driving to, from, through, & live in that area than around here!Heck, there are even more rich people that live around Avon,& Bayvillage area!I happen to know two people that own gas stations, so you are not going to put the wool over my eyes!!

not from norwal...

I know this has nothing to do with the problems people are having in Norwalk. I live in willard, in the city limits. My husband is a city employee and pays the same taxes as everyone else so why do I have to transport my kids to and from school everyday. Why, because I am 1 house west of N. Main St. Mind you I could throw a rock and hit the stop sign from my front yard. But, ok, I will do it because what else can you do? The rules are the rules, break them for one person then you have to break them for everyone. But what irratates the crap out of me is watching the willard city school bus use my driveway every morning and every evening to turn around in. But my children can not ride the bus??

RE: gas-yes aga...

Move. There's your answer. And take gas guzzler/swiss family with you.

smalltowner (An...

How are the kids suppose to car-pool when some people in their infinate wisdom decided that unless you are a family member you can only have one other teenage person in the vehical with you at a time unless you are over 18 I am probable not stating the new laws correctly but you should get the gist If you want them to get to school and they can not drive or ride with friends then LET THEM ON THE DUMB BUSS>

gas guzzler (An...

yes, gas outside of Norwalk was around $2.45 a gallon.. but not in Norwalk. we must have gold crusted,diamond tinted gasoline,because the price of gas in Norwalk was $2.88 a gallon. if you do the math,that's .43cents PER GALLON HIGHER! why? i will definately buy my gas out of town,where it is cheaper. THANK-YOU norwalk reflector for "rosting"the Norwalk gas station owners for over charging their customers and neighbors and friends

gas guzzler (An...

i meant roasting,not rosting. sorry.but the fact's are gas outside norwalk $2.45...gas in norwalk $2.88.. i will drive alittle to save a lot

Pain in the Gas...

Go, Go- JUST GO! Go as far away as you can, I hear gas in Dayton is a dollar cheaper a gallon, go there. Take swiss family with you. Just GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

re: Not from No...

I would call the bus garage, police or someone, about them turning around there then, my friends Dad did that and they had to go down to the next driveway to turn around after that. No ride, then then stay off my property!!

not from norwal...

I would love to do that, but how would my kids be treated because of my complaining??? I know it is not right. I can't understand how they think what they are doing is fair or just? My kids see the bus turn around and wonder why they can't ride? How do you explain that to them?

swiss family .....

to "Pain in the gas" why are you so hateful and bitter? i will absolutely drive a short distance like Avery or Monroeville,to save some money.I still can't figure out why Norwalk's gas is so much more expensive than the surrounding area?Is some of your anger still because they dropped that house on your sister?well,that was along time ago, please let it go !

pope otomus (An...

is it just me,or does it appear that this picture of this young man, seems to have a light on the tip of his finger,much like E.T. did?if that's the case,why doesn't he just unearth his hidden space ship,and fly himself and his sister to school?and take some of the neighborhood kids with him?

Pain in the Gas...

Dropped a house on my sister? What the hell are you talking about now?? I don't even have a sister! What are you talking about??? Man, you are nuts, aren't ya?

Pain in the Gas...

Ok, I'm awake now...I get it. A reference to the Wizard of Oz. I guess that makes swiss a flyin' monkey. How 'bout while I'm in Oz, I stop by to get you a brain and a heart.

swiss family .....

can we take up a collection here? the money will go towards getting this kid a haircut , and a bike