Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Construction Overload

Credits to Photo Staff

Construction, darkness, and the sound of cars are all students hear and see as they make their journey to school and home. They walk with caution and fear down the sidewalks and streets. There is a need for individuals to make sure that students are safe and comfortable when traveling between school and home, and the Senior Safety Trainer for MISD School Bus Transportation Jimmy Agosto and his team are those individuals.

Keeping an eye out for any dangers is a key action for bus drivers. Agosto brings light to how bus drivers can make sure that students are safe.

“When we drop off our students at the bus stop, the drivers are instructed to look around and make sure that the area is safe. So if they happen to see stray animals, or if there is construction or something going on they have an open eye to look for all that,” Agosto said.

Many unexpected things can occur and there are actions that bus drivers might decide to take in case of these dangers. Agosto feels that drivers should take certain precautions and actions when allowing students off the bus.

“They have the authority to pull somebody back if they have to. So if they go down and see some gang activity or something like that, they can hold the students on the bus and say ‘Wait a minute, I’m not dropping you off here,’ which in case the driver would continue the route, hold the students, and call for help,” Agosto said.

Construction can create hurdles for scholars as they make their walking journey home. Agosto believes that students who typically walk should have access to transportation to avoid these obstacles.

“Well, we’ve had occasions when construction has happened around the schools and we have had to transport students for the time of construction; sometimes we have students that are within the two-mile limit. There’s a two-mile limit there, so we’ve had occasions where a school and Lake Ridge is one of the big ones now, so some of the students normally don’t get bus service because they live in the walk zone and they actually end up getting bus service for the time that the construction is happening,” Agosto said. “So we normally have a walk zone where they are required to walk through if they live within two miles of the school, but when something like happens, it’s blocking the way and becomes a hazardous way for them to get home then we’ll revert back and we’ll put a bus to cover a route there for the time of the construction.”

Although construction may be completed, there is still the possibility of debris and leftovers from the actions of these workers that could create obstacles for many scholars. Agosto’s team is sure to confirm the safety of walking laths for attendees of MISD.

“Once the construction is done and everything is cleaned up and we go back, we walk it ourselves. We have a little team here that goes out there and verifies everything to make sure it’s safe. And once that’s done we let the students know that they’ll be walking from that point on,” Agosto said.

Being proactive is key to keeping all scholars safe and protected. Agosto and his team make sure to plan when it comes to encouraging students to go back to their routine of walking to and from school once again.

“But the bottom line is, even though they tell us this will be going on for exactly a year, we plan a little bit further down the road because sometimes it takes longer, but we don’t release it or stop the service, until one of our staff members, a group of our staff members have gone through there and actually walked it to make sure that all the wood has been picked up and all the cement has been picked up and there’s nothing blocking the way and that the students can safely get over that,” Agosto said.

Credits to Photo Staff

Communication between drivers and workers is also very important and essential to ensure the safety of these young individuals. Agosto believes that student safety is the top priority when considering transportation and traveling between school and home.

“That’s our number one mission: to transport students safely to and from school. And we are always watching for construction. The drivers are pretty good at bringing us back feedback and saying ‘Hey they’re blocking this area here.’ We have three safety trainers on staff that have vehicles that we go out there and we actually talk to the construction people. But the number one mission that we have is to safely transport students and make sure that they get to school and get home safely,” Agosto said.

The current construction creates heavy traffic in the morning and makes it difficult for students to get to school. Due to these issues there are many barriers that students have to overcome in order to make sure to be prompt. If there is no avoiding the traffic then some students will be put behind in class. Senior Luis Reyes believes that in order to overcome these barriers students must take certain precautions and procedures.

“Well, it depends. If I wake up later then I’m going to be late because I live far from here. But usually I wake up early to get here on time to beat the traffic. But in the first few weeks back, the traffic really messed me up,” said Reyes. “It’s because there were lines going all the way to the bridge and it was like a twentyish minute wait and by the time I got here, first period was almost over. It was dance class and so I had to learn most of the routine next class when people already learned most of it. It was hard to learn all that in one day instead of two days.”

A lot of work goes into guaranteeing the well-being of the students attending school in MISD. Communication, being proactive, and testing paths are key to ensuring the welfare of young individuals when transporting from one location to another.

About the Contributor
Amber Abrego
Amber Abrego, ENN Staff