Old Hook Road Unsafe For Son, Father Says
Joe Malley said he does not want his son to walk to school down busy Old Hook Road.
A Westwood father is fighting to get his 11-year-old son permission to ride the bus so the student does not have to walk down Old Hook Road to Westwood Regional Middle School.
Joe Malley and Lou Qualliu asked district officials last week to remeasure the distance from the school to their homes, which are both located close to the state-mandated 2-mile mark that determines whether or not students are entitled to ride the bus.
Since then, officials went back to examine routes and found that Qualliu's home is far enough away for his son can ride the bus, but decided Malley's home was still 200 feet too close to the school.
Malley told Patch he believes his home is more than 2 miles if the measurement does not have his son walking down Old Hook Road, a busy street which is partially without sidewalks.
"Old Hook Road is unsafe for someone to get to school," Malley said.
State law requires the district to measure the distance to school along the shortest route possible.
Malley said he is hoping Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino will determine the Old Hook Road route unsafe and tell the district they have to measure from a different path.
The men previously offered to pay for their children to ride the bus. Currently, the district does not have a subscription busing policy. Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller said that their odds of getting a seat then would still be "vanishingly small" because the district would have to make them available via lottery to all students under the 2-mile limit.
In the meantime, Malley said his son would not be walking to school.