(WBRE/WYOU) — More controversy Friday in the Crestwood School District regarding its school bus stop and route plan. Parents were outraged to learn one of the stops was placed in front of the home of a convicted child sex offender.
And the school district learned that the child sex offender lived there only after parents called the district. This comes one day after many parents unloaded on district officials for what they say has been poor planning involving bus transportation.
“I was rather surprised by that. That they don’t know, actually look into where things are and who actually lives there,” parent Janelle Higgins said.
Higgins is reacting to word that the Crestwood School District had placed a school bus stop at the home of a convicted child rapist. This is where the bus would have picked up and dropped off students, 178 Church Road in Wright Township.
67-year-old Robert Kemler lives here with his brother. He pleaded guilty to raping a teenaged girl in the mid-1990s and served nine years in prison. He is on Pennsylvania Megan’s Law registry. The district changed the bus stop location after being contacted by parents. Kemler’s brother insists even if the bus stop was not changed, the children were not in danger.
When asked if he understood the concerns parents had when they found out the bus stop location, Bruce Kemler, the brother of the child sex offender said, “Yes I have a daughter who studied psychology in Allentown. We all understand reasonable behavior. I’m not against it.”
This comes as Crestwood officials race against time to complete its bus route plan. The district hired a new bus contractor after it parted ways with the previous bus company for failing to adequate background checks on its drivers. They came under fire Thursday from parents who say some of the new routes and bus stops just did not make any sense.
“I think they have a lot of issues to resolve but I’m confident they will take care of it,” Higgins said.
And that has to happen sooner than later. Classes start Monday morning. Eyewitness News also asked Crestwood School District Superintendent Rob Mehalick how a bus stop could be placed in front of the home of a child sex offender. He said he was looking into how it happened but promised parents it would not happen again.
Some parents say they will drive their children to school the first few days until they are confident that any problems with the school bus routes and stops are worked out.