Some Pflugerville ISD students climb wall to get to school

Instead of riding the bus to school, many Barron Elementary students are having to climb over an eight-foot wall. Parents there are upset, saying the easiest access to the school involves using a ladder.

One after another, Barron Elementary students line up to climb over a wall. To them, it's normal. For their parents, it's a major concern.

The Estrada brothers live in the Dessau Fountain Estates community. Four children in their family attend Barron Elementary, which is right next door. The problem is getting there.

"Crossing them over is just dangerous, like anybody can slip and fall. Even I have landed wrong a couple of times from crossing the fence," says Hugo Estrada, parent.

This has been an issue since 2012. That's when the Dessau community hired attorneys to advocate in behalf of the children, asking the district to provide bus services.

Pflugerville ISD says in accordance with state law, the district only provides transportation to students who live more than two miles from campus.

"Those students who have to walk, have to at least go a mile through the community. That's not being counted as part of the walking route. The district is counting the distance from the beginning of the community, which not all the kids live there," says Michelle Alcala, attorney for Dessau Fountain Estates.

Attorney Michelle Alcala says even if children walked, it's not safe.

"They are describing the route as residential with walkways. We say it's more accurately a four lane artery highway, without walkways. It's hazardous. These are young kids, that should be taken into consideration," said Alcala.

Parents just want a permanent solution.

"It's just not something that we should be putting kids through. We should be teaching them physical education at gym class, not after school by having to pass a barrier," said Estrada.

They have even asked Dessau management to put in some type of path. We're told that has been turned down because it's supposed to be a gated community.

"Someone will get hurt. It's not a matter of will they, it's a matter of when somebody will get hurt," says Estrada.

Pflugerville ISD sent us this statement:
During the building phase of Barron Elementary in 2011, Pflugerville ISD attempted to purchase a lot in the Dessau Fountain Estates to provide a concrete sidewalk to the campus. In October 2011, PfISD received approval from the property manager to build the sidewalk, however in May 2012 the owner of the property informed PfISD officials that the district could not purchase the land to create the sidewalk. The district would still be interested in purchasing a plot of land to create a corridor to allow students to walk to the campus from the back of the community.

The Dessau community attorney says they are open to discussing the situation with the school board again.

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