Does your child's bus stop put them in the path of a predator?
A KCBD investigation is prompting the Lubbock Independent School District to make some changes, changes that should make kids that ride the bus to school safer every day.
Sex Offenders are living in neighborhoods all across Lubbock, but there are laws intended to keep them away from places like schools, daycare and playgrounds. They're called "Child Safety Zones." However, you may be surprised to learn that school bus stops do not make that list.
Maria Rodriguez is a mother of four who doesn't take any chances when dealing with the safety of her children.
"You can't trust anybody, really. When school started, we didn't have a vehicle, so we would get up every morning and would walk them to school. After school we would walk to the school and pick both of them up," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez knows there are registered sex offenders living in her neighborhood, so while her daily trek may seem drastic, there is cause for concern.
Our investigation revealed sex offenders living all around Maria's family. But that's not all. We mapped out the addresses of more than 100 registered sex offenders and found dozens of them living right across the street from bus stops across Lubbock.
Stops like one on 83rd Street in South Lubbock. Our cameras were rolling as a student stepped off the bus, right into the yard of a registered sex offender. That man is still on probation for sexual contact with a four year old girl.
We took our findings to LISD Representative Nancy Sharp.
"When we're made aware of a sex offender living near a bus stop, that's certainly something we're willing to address," Sharp said.
LISD Police Chief Jody Scifres told us this problem is not easily solved.
"It's a logistical nightmare. For the bus stops, for your children's convenience, there's no way to make it 100 percent safe," Scifres said.
Scifres says the numbers make the issue nearly unavoidable.
"There's one sex offender for every 485 people in Lubbock. And if you look at the map, it's widespread across the city," Scifres said.
So for Maria Rodriguez, those numbers are enough, to make her keep a constant eye on her kids.
"It takes just one time for something to happen - just once," Rodriguez said.
Our investigation is prompting changes by LISD. Starting Monday, they will be moving the bus stop we found on 83rd Street.
The district maintains that they give students all the tools they need to know what to do in a dangerous situation. In fact, they partner with the Children's Advocacy Center for a preventative education program called "Yellow Dino".
If you're interested in finding out if any sex offenders are living next to your bus stop click, you can check the links below:
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