SAN MARCOS (KXAN) — Whether you drop your child off at school or the bus stop, you expect a level of safety. One San Marcos family discovered their child’s bus stop is located directly in front of the home of a registered sex offender.
KXAN met with Amanda Davis and her husband, who don’t want other parents to experience the shock they did.
“I got an email, because I get regular emails of locations of sex offenders because I have four kids,” Davis said.
It was through that email she learned there are three registered sex offenders right near her home. One who lives directly in front of her youngest child’s bus stop.
“You’re literally talking about 10-15 feet from their front door,” Davis said. “It would take no time at all.”
Davis knows how quickly something terrible can happen.
“I was a victim of sexual assault a few times,” Davis shared with KXAN. “The first time, I was the age of my youngest daughter.”
Davis’ youngest daughter is in pre-Kindergarten. The mother of four reached out to San Marcos CISD officials, but didn’t get the immediate response she expected. The district pointed out the two students who are picked up and dropped off at the spot are both in Pre-K, which means parents are required to be with their child at the bus stop during pick up and drop off. Davis says even so, it doesn’t address the overarching problem. San Marcos CISD confirmed with KXAN they were not aware the bus stop was located in front of a sex offender’s home until Davis and her husband called.
District officials explained that bus stop locations are chosen based on a routing system that takes into account where students in the area live, to determine a central meeting point. Where sex offenders reside is only taken into account if a parent reached out with concerns. It’s something Assistant Superintendent Karen Griffith said has happened at least once in the last two years, and officials moved the bus stop accordingly.
“Even if they do move the bus stop for us, I think it’s still something that other parents in this area need to know about,” Davis said, encouraging parents to run bus stop addresses through the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Public Sex Offender Registry.
In a statement, the school district said, “San Marcos CISD is looking into the complaint and will work with the parents to find a solution. SMCISD takes every effort to ensure student safety. Although there are forces beyond the school district’s control, we continue to ask for parent and community support to protect our children.”
It’s important to make clear that the registered sex offenders are not breaking any laws by living near the bus stop. KXAN spoke with a woman who answered the door at one of the homes, and said one of the men has lived there for years. She said he doesn’t ever cross paths with children going to and from school because of his work hours.
KXAN reached out to the San Marcos Police Department to get a better understanding of how they handle registered sex offenders. Police tell us they have 59 registered sex offenders living in the city and one detective assigned to keep track of them and investigate individuals who fail to register. Compare that to the Austin Police Department’s “Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration” unit, made up of six officers which a KXAN investigation found are responsible for monitoring between 200 and 300 registered sex offenders. At the time of our investigation last October, there were close to 2,000 registered sex offenders in Austin.
For those of you questioning school bus stops in your own neighborhood, finding the locations of registered sex offenders is quite simple. DPS lets you map it out, according to your address or by city. From there, you can zoom in and out of neighborhoods.
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