Wake County mom says her daughter spends 5 hours a day on school bus

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Five hours on a school bus. One Wake County parent says that's the reality for her daughter every day and that's too long.

Sibylle Lashley lives in Knightdale but chooses to send her daughter to Ligon Middle School in downtown Raleigh. It's a magnet school and she said she feels her daughter is getting a better education there.

"It's a good school and the schools in Knightdale are not the best," said Lashley.

On the Wake County Public Schools website it clearly warns that magnet schools will experience longer than usual bus rides of more than one hour.

Lashley said last year her daughter's ride was an hour and a half each way. That's not ideal but doable she said. But now that it's two and a half hours each way, she's concerned.

Lashley's stop is about a 20-minute car ride to Ligon Middle, but the bus makes several stops over a larger area than buses that serve non-magnet schools.

As it's listed online, Lashley's daughter is the fourth stop on the bus route. That stop is scheduled for 4:49 a.m., which means Lashley's daughter is getting up at 4 a.m. School starts at 7:25 a.m.

"I don't know how they would perform getting up at four in the morning. For us, it's hard ... and then expect them to have good grades, it doesn't make sense to me," said Lashley.

"Magnet routes fluctuate depending on which students from that area of the county volunteer to attend those schools," said a spokesperson for WCPSS. "This is a magnet run with neighborhood stops serving four schools. There are 39 students assigned and the capacity of the bus is 48. We are currently monitoring the performance of the route."

They go on to say that most magnet school bus routes cover a significant amount of geographic territory, picking up few students per stop, which creates longer run times.

As for the added hour this year for Lashley's daughter, the spokesperson for WCPSS said this could depend on when Lashley is picked up this year versus last year or if more students are on the route.

Even though Lashley knows she chose this school option for her daughter, she said feels there still could be something in place to keep ride times under two hours.

"For a child I think there should be rules. There should be some regulations to how long they could be on the bus," said Lashley.

While she tries to rework her scheduled to drive her daughter to school more, she's not the only one with bus concerns.

"They got out of school at 3:45 and my kids didn't get home until a quarter to six," said Latasha Leeke.

She said that was day one and is patient because it's only day two but said she doesn't remember waiting this long last year.

"The last couple of years, maybe 30 minutes, but never an hour almost two hours, never."

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