UPDATE: Local Parents Voice Concern Over Middle School Students - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UPDATE: Local Parents Voice Concern Over Middle School Students Walking to Football Practice

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Washington Irving Middle School football players now have a bus to take them to practice.

Superintendent Susan Collins said the players will ride regular buses until the school finds them an activity bus.

Players had previously been walking or getting rides from parents to Hite Field.

Original Story

Chestnut Street in Clarksburg, West Virginia is a road that locals try to avoid at all costs.

It's a road that some football players at Washington Irving Middle School are starting to dislike, too.

"We had to walk from the school to Hite Field, probably three to four blocks away," said Michael Harte, a football player at Washington Irving Middle School

Harrison County Schools is not providing an activity bus to take the football players to Hite Field this year. The football team uses the field to practice, as it does not have a field on its campus. Principal Gary Oldaker said there just aren't enough drivers to provide an activity bus for the players right now.

"We are working with transportation to get the numbers of students on the buses that drive by Hite field, so we can find out which one we can put our athletes on so they can drop them off when they go by there," said Gary Oldaker, Principal at Washington Irving Middle School.

In the meantime, Oldaker said most are hitching a ride from their parents. Oldaker said he was not aware of players walking to the field, but did mention that parents need to contact the school if their children don't have a ride and will be walking to the field. 12 News witnessed football players walking to Hite field on Monday afternoon.

"They want you to sign a paper for your kid to walk from there to there. To me that is endangering your child, pedestrians and motor vehicles," said Joseph Fittro, a parent.

Fittro has been picking up his son from school and driving him to the field everyday since the first day of school. Parents said they did not receive any notification from the school that mentioned the cancellation of an activity bus.  

"I had to hustle from work just to make sure my son is safe," Fittro said.

Fittro said he does not feel comfortable with his son walking on Chestnut Street to get to practice.

"Kids will be kids. They will carry on. They are out of school. There is a chance an accident could happen," Fittro said

One of the biggest concerns parents have about the walk on Chestnut Street, is an area where the sidewalk is closed.

"Real easy for a kid to get hit there. I've driven tow trucks," Fittro said.

Harte said it's not only drivers on the road that worry him.

"There's a lot of dangers. I've seen people passed out on the road, messed up and stuff. They came after cars. Just don't need it," Harte said.

Oldaker said the walk along Chestnut Street is safe, and reminded students of basic safety tips if they won't be riding with a parent. 

"If you are walking, please be careful. Be mindful of traffic. Walk in groups if you can," Oldaker said.

Oldaker said the school has already submitted transportation requests for this year's football games. He said the school will provide transportation to all away games. 

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