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FF12: Sex offenders near school bus stops

By Lauren Seabrook, lseabrook@kwch.com
Published On: Aug 11 2014 05:59:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 12 2014 02:38:44 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

A mother's intuition told her to check the area round her daughter's bus stop and she could not believe what she found. Men convicted of sex crimes living right by the intersection where her daughter will wait to go to school each day, without an adult, and in the dark.

That mom called FactFinder 12 with her concern. She asked us not to show her face on camera for fear of identifying her daughter.

"Last year, my daughter's bus stop was at the end of our street and I could see her safely on the bus every morning," she said.

But this year she can't watch her daughter walk to the bus stop because it moved one block to the west and two blocks north.

"And right around the corner from the homes of two registered sex offenders," the mother said. "That makes me really nervous."

FactFinder 12 searched the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's Public Offender Registry. On the map, sex offenders are shown in red and two are shown near the 12-year-old girl's bus stop.

"The one that bothers me the most is that one was attempted rape or sex offense with a child under the age of 14," the mother said.

The other offender is convicted of indecent solicitation of a child, age 14. So the concerned mother asked Wichita Public Schools to move the stop back. She says the district denied her request, twice.

"The reply that I got was, well the 'sad reality is sex offenders are everywhere,'" she said.

FactFinder 12 got a similar response.

"We've got so many students that are taking buses and unfortunately there's registered sex offenders everywhere," said Susan Arnesman, Wichita Public Schools.

Arnesman told FactFinder 12 if the four students who go to that stop had to walk in front of the sex offenders' houses, the district would make an exception.

"It's the fear that one of these guy might drive by, notice that she's there every morning, and start thinking things they shouldn't be thinking about my daughter," said the concerned mother. "Or worse."

"We also have to look at what's the most efficient route to run as far as money is concerned and as far as time, because we want to make sure our students are in school on time," Arnesman said.

Arnesman suggests parents try to be with their kids at the bus stops. She says if they can't be,  to make sure they know what to do if they are approached by a stranger.

"I don't understand how having a bus stop that close to a sex offender is taking our children's safety as a high priority," said the mother.

Arnesman says to talk to your kids about their walk to the bus or their walk to school. She says if they are approached by a stranger, tell them to run away, makes as much noise as possible, and find a trusted adult to tell.

To see if sex offenders live near your child's bus stop, click here.

To search for offenders near an address in Sedgwick County, click here.

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