COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – A Coventry mother is speaking out after she discovered the school bus stop closest to her house is in front of the home of a level two registered sex offender who was convicted on child pornography charges.
Lisa Killeen’s daughter is starting 4th grade in the Coventry school district and takes the bus to school every day.
“I’m so angry,” Killeen told Target 12. “It’s pretty cut and dry. I don’t want to drop my kid off on a sex offender’s lawn every day.”
The list of bus routes was published on the Coventry School district’s website ahead of the 2019-20 school year.
“Essentially, the kids would have been waiting in his driveway,” Killeen said.
According to the state parole board, sex offenders are classified based on their risk to re-offend. A level two offender is considered a “moderate risk.”
Killeen said this isn’t the first time she has pointed out the issue to the school district.
In years past, the bus stop was moved to pick up Killeen’s daughter in front of her home.
This year the district is using a new bus company, Ocean State Transit, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Student Transportation of America.
According to an email Killeen received, the bus company suggested her daughter go to a different bus stop in the neighborhood – further away from her home.
“It just seems like a terrible position to be putting families in,” Killeen said. “I don’t understand why they can’t move it three doors down or two doors the other way.”
Target 12 compared bus routes to sex offenders’ addresses in Coventry, and discovered one other bus stop at the same intersection where a sex offender lives. Several other stops are just a few houses away from sex offenders.
Coventry Superintendent Craig Levis said the district is responsive to parents’ concerns.
“The bus company looked at all the documentation and made adjustments,” Levis said Thursday. “We can move bus stops around, but I don’t know how you’re going to avoid some kids having to walk past certain houses.”
A spokesperson for Student Transportation of America responded to Target 12’s inquiry in an email, writing, “We followed our standard protocol while building the school routes and once this offender was identified we immediately notified the parents and changed the bus stop location.”
The company did not respond to follow-up questions to explain what the “standard protocol” is and whether other bus stops in Coventry have been moved.
For now, Killeen said she will walk her daughter to and from the farther-away bus stop just to make sure her child is safe.