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Parents help bring Marsh Valley busing back

Following a campaign by concerned parents, busing for extra-curricular events in the Marsh Valley School District is back.

Kelley Packer is one of those who spearheaded the effort to get kids going to their sports events back in buses, and not driving themselves.

The catalyst for that campaign came from a crash that happened back in August.

“I received a phone call in this office right here, that there had been an accident. My son was on his way to a soccer game in Preston from the school, and unfortunately they did not arrive safely,” Packer said.

There were three students, and a friend who’d recently graduated, in the car when the driver lost control.

“We were still going pretty fast when we popped up on the road and she’d over corrected, so we flipped, and on the third flip I hit my head. So I was out,” Trevor Packer said.

Several in the car were seriously injured.

About two years ago the school district decided to do away with busing for many athletic events, as a way to save money on a very tight budget.

The policy called for parents to do the driving.

“Parents and people weren’t actually following the policy. Kids were driving on their own. And it was hard to manage and we never knew when people were coming or going,” Marsh Valley High School Principal Michael Welch said.

But now the buses are back, and to pay for the cost, the district is instituting fees.

The fee is $100 per sport for high school students and $30 for middle school students.

That could be a tough burden on struggling local families, but Packer said it’s the right call for the school board.

“This was a really tough decision for them. And I appreciate that they stepped up and did the right thing,” Packer said.

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