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Spring Cove: Family decries children’s bus issues

Mother claims kids are ‘discriminated against’ by district

MARTINSBURG — Following years of turmoil regarding a transportation issue, a parent approached the Spring Cove School Board Monday night in hopes of settling an ongoing dispute.

Michelle Love said her children are being “discriminated against” and are being forced to walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop every day after an altercation with a former bus driver.

“I am doing my best to figure out information on my own, but I still don’t understand why everything is being done to keep my children off Bus 55,” Love said.

The issue stems from bullying Love’s children faced on the bus during the 2014-15 school year.

Love said the driver of Bus 55, Dennis Appleman, allegedly did not intervene and said that “kids are just kids.”

While the district administration resolved the issue, Love said her children were later denied a seat on the bus and that administration told her there were no available seats.

Her children were forced to ride a different bus, even though Bus 55 allegedly continued to drive past her house, Love said.

Spring Cove Superintendent Susan Baker said with nearly 1,700 students across a 98.6-square-mile area, it is not possible for the district to provide door-to-door transportation for every individual student.

“Our routes are established within the state requirements, and our priority is always to maintain safe, efficient and equitable transportation for all students,” Baker said.

Love said she later had problems with Appleman, and claimed he would “scream and yell” at her, and despite reporting the issues to district administration, issues still persisted.

“They thought my situation was unreasonable,” Love said.

Spring Cove administration said it investigates all situations and deals with them accordingly.

“Any concerns which are reported are taken seriously and are addressed as appropriate to the situation,” Baker said.

Love said after meeting with the administration in 2018, her children’s bus stop was moved even farther away.

Now that Bus 55 has a new driver and the district has a new director of transportation, Love said she hopes her children can receive a closer bus stop.

The board did not take action, but board President James Butler said the issue will be investigated and discussed.

The Spring Cove School Board also approved the creation of a middle school assistant principal position.

Board member Charles Gojmerac questioned the creation of the position and who that person would report to.

Gojmerac requested the board enter an executive session, and after 10 minutes of discussion, the board unanimously approved creation of the position and decided to advertise it.

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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