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Naramata, B.C. family scrambling after school bus request denied

Click to play video: 'Naramata mom left scrambling to get her kids to school'
Naramata mom left scrambling to get her kids to school
Naramata mom left scrambling to get her kids to school

For Naramata, B.C., resident Bobbi Sloan, moving into her dream home has turned into a nightmare.

The home is about 20 minutes north of the Naramata Village and before making the purchase, Sloan says she asked School District 67 if a school bus would be available in that area for her kids.

“Eventually I got a phone call saying some somebody at school district transportation went with a bus driver up to that location, and they would extend the current route to the end of our subdivision,” said Sloan.

“I needed to pay the bus fee online and it was done, it was good to go.”

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It wasn’t until they moved that she says the school district reconsidered the decision, stating in an email that according to the School Act, it is not the district’s responsibility to provide transportation for students.

“I received an email saying there wasn’t a safe turnaround location at that spot, and they couldn’t give us busing,” said Sloan.

Sloan says she tried to negotiate different locations, or to meet the bus halfway considering there are school bus road signs leading up to her home.

However, the district allegedly said no and her sons are now in before-school care while her daughter’s bus will only go as far as Naramata Village.

“Instead they offered me $275 transportation allowance to use towards before- and after-school care to drop off before work,” she said.

“I’m commuting 40 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon. but because the current bus for my daughter comes an hour and 15 minutes later, I’m gone for two hours trying to just pick up kids at school right now.”

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In a statement to Global News, School District 67 said they cannot discuss details of any specific student matter.

“We can say that when addressing issues of bussing, all aspects of safety are a priority, and the planning, review and safe implementation of each of our bus routes is a critical component of our district team’s work,” read the school district statement.

Sloan posted her concerns on social media, and says she received an overwhelming amount of support.

The concerns reached Penticton city councillor Amelia Boultbee, who communicated a few suggestions to Sloan.

“She gave me a couple suggestions, ways to reach out, carpooling but I don’t know that there’s any other families in the area to even carpool with,” said Sloan.

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Boultbee was unavailable for an interview.

Meanwhile, Sloan is left with a lengthy commute to ensure her kids get to school.

“I have to pick up kids so I don’t know how I’m going to do it at this point. My job is on the line — like, it’s not good,” she said.

“It’s affecting all of us, every aspect of our life and it’s really frustrating.”

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