The Neosho School District promises change after questions about children's safety at a bus stop. KOAM/KFJX began to investigate this morning the location of a bus stop after a parent contacted us with concerns. Our research showed that bus stop was located across the street from a home where two registered sex offenders live.
There is no Missouri law concerning how far sex offenders must live from school bus stops; laws only pertain to actual school buildings. Nonetheless, school district officials felt the need for change.
"I don't think a bus stop should stop in front of a sex offender's house," says Newton County Deputy Steven Bock.
But there was a school bus stop in front of the home of Patrick Potter and Jc Colvard, who are related to each other. Potter was 29-years-old in 1997 when he was convicted of statutory sodomy of a six-year-old girl. Colvard's most recent offense happened in 2004 when he was 27 and convicted of first degree rape of a 10-year-old girl. He was also convicted of sexual misconduct in 2001.
A mother, who used to live in the neighborhood that Colvard and Potter live, contacted us and wanted the bus stop in front of the offenders' home moved. We contacted the Neosho School District and the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
"They're moving the bus stop," says Bock.
Bock says this isn't the first time a school bus stop was in front of Colvard's and Potter's home.
"We had this brought up a couple years ago. It was taken care of immediately," says Bock.
The mother who contacted us says the bus stop was moved from right in front of the sex offenders' home to across the street, the most recent location of the bus stop. Bock says there's a new school district transportation supervisor who didn't know about this bus stop's controversial location.
"When I talked to her, it was going to be immediately taken care of," says Bock.
A statement from the Neosho School District reads: "After being notified that one of our summer bus stops was in close proximity to the home of a registered sex offender, our transportation department is revising the summer bus stop map. It's our goal to get all of our students to and from school using the safest routes and procedures available. We are diligent in our efforts to keep our kids safe and we appreciate when our school family and community bring information such as this to our attention. Once the revised bus stop is complete, we will be sure to communicate it to our community."
According to Bock, school district officials say they will do a better job of monitoring bus stops and comparing their locations with sex offenders' home addresses. The wife of one of the sex offenders, Patrick Potter, told us she saw nothing wrong with the location of the bus stop since both her husband and Jc Colvard were away at work when children were at the bus stop.
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