Bus Stop Location Issue Still Festers for Resident

David Fletcher of Londonderry had recently sent a third petition to the State Department of Education, requesting a re-hearing regarding his family’s request to move the location of the school bus stop on their street.
Fletcher’s initial request was denied and the bus stop remained in its location, but in the past few months, he has been claiming that the Londonderry School District’s representatives at the hearings, held in Dec. 2017 and Jun. 2018, provided false testimony while under oath.
The current bus stop is located in the rotary of Otterson Rd. and Darrow Way and Fletcher asked for it to be moved into the street (Darrow Way). He shared with the Londonderry Times various videos filmed by him and his neighbors that show cars not stopping at the rotary where the bus stop is, even when the school bus has its “STOP” signs out. The rotary itself has stops signs, but they are also ignored sometimes by drivers, as can be seen in the videos.

Fletcher says that one of the six kids who live in the three houses at the end of Darrow Way (where they want the new stop to be placed) was almost hit by a car several years ago and that no kids live near the current bus stop and they all walk from and to the end of the street.
He says that they were able to bring their request for a change in front of the State Board, after going through the complete hearing process. The State Board Chair had questions for both sides, the Fletcher family and the School District, represented by the Chief Financial Officer Peter Curro and Attorney Gordon Graham. "They said the bus controls the traffic. The Chairman, who saw the videos, said he doesn't think it does. Than they said, "well it's only a couple of occasions'", Fletcher told the Londonderry Times.
During the first hearing, the case of a bus stop that had been moved on Cross St. and Constant Dr. came up. Fletcher asked, “how come that stop was moved” and he said he never got an answer to his question. At the hearing, Curro said: "Cross and Constant Drive was an issue that we had with the police department and they asked us to go down there and take care of the students".
"That was news to me", says Fletcher. The Chairman than asked if the reason is publicly available and Curro answered: "I'd ask the police, why are you asking me? The police asked me to move the bus stop because of a police situation. I say, yes sir."
Fletcher continues: "I found out that one of the houses there belongs to the Fire Department Battalion Chief and that Curro's son is in the Fire Department. He then filed a Right-to-Know request to Chief of Police, William Hart. Chief Hart's response, according to an email that was shared by Fletcher with the Londonderry Times, was: "To my knowledge there are no recordings, memos, reports, records, photos, notes, correspondence, emails, and communications regarding the recommendation the Londonderry Police Department forwarded to the Londonderry School District regarding the bus stop(s) on Constance Dr."
The Chief of Police added, also in an email that Fletcher shows: "I can say further that on very limited occasions (less than half a dozen times over the last two decades), LPD, in the person of one of its officers, has requested the temporary re-location of a bus stop because of ongoing surveillance, personal safety or criminal investigative concerns." Fletcher said: "I asked for all the information about the police thing and it doesn't exist."
His next move was to confront the School District: "They completely ignored that. I wrote to the superintendent and he said 'we are not talking about this anymore'. I don't understand why you would make up a story with the police. There's no reason to lie about it."
He also says that now the state is ignoring him and did not respond to any of his three petitions: "The only way I can get the state to open another case is if the school decided to deny my appeal process. So instead, they just don't answer me, because they don't want to go to the state anymore. How does the local district get all the power as to who gets to the State Board? It should be the other way around."
Recently, Andrew Cline, of the State Department of Education, responded to inquiries about the story, apologizing for not communicating sooner to Mr. Fletcher’s petitions. Cline was under the impression that Fletcher was working out the problem with the School District and was unaware that the School District had cut off communications with Fletcher. Cline said he was requesting an update on the situation from the School District and will put this matter on the agenda for the next board meeting. He said he did not want to keep anyone waiting and hopes to move this matter along to a solution.
According to Fletcher, Curro's main argument for the School District refusal to move the bus stop from the main road to the street was that if they did so, they would have to do it for everyone. Fletcher claimed in the hearing that another school bus stop was moved following a request by the 77-year-old, Daniel Vecchione, who was a Londonderry Selectman for nine years, also served on the Planning Board and served as Chairman of the Town Council. Vecchione passed away in Oct. 2014.
Fletcher showed the State Board an email from Aug. 15, 2014, from Curro to Kristy Leach from Student Transportation of America (STA) saying, in all-caps: "PUT AN ELEM STOP AT 7 REV PARKER… YES I OWE HIM A FAVOR", allegedly referring to Vecchione's request. Leach answered three days later in an email to Curro: "Well can I have a favor and have a stop at (The address was erased) for my son and the neighbor's girls? This would be my neighbor's home. I live at 6."
Fletcher told the Londonderry Times that at the hearing, when confronted with the email, "Curro said it was a bad choice of words, a joke between him and Leach and it wasn't a favor". Curro said "It was improper". The Chair asked if the stop was indeed moved and Curro went on to explain: "It was moved because of a family situation that I really can’t get into. Let’s just say there was a family issue that the school district was well aware of. It was a stressful situation with a first grader."
Fletcher's first petition to the State Board for a re-hearing was dated Apr. 4, the second May 27 and the third Aug. 22: "I know they received it. Why is the state not responding?” he asked. In the first petition he wrote: "In December 2018, while at the District offices for other business, we brought to the attention of Mr. Curro that the District has not responded. We asked if he planned to answer our request submitted in October 2018. He informed us he would be answering the request in a week as they were investigating it. Some two weeks later, Mr. Curro sent a letter stating that he would not answer the request and contended that there was no new information. This is simply untrue." Now, Fletcher wonders: "Why no board member has any concerns about potentially the School District being completely untruthful."
When asked why he believes that Curro and the District allegedly acted this way, Fletcher said: "It's a culture of bullying. People didn't want to deal with it and just walked away. They said it's not worth it. And I was the one person who came along and didn't walk away. I'm looking out for my kids and my neighbors kids."
Curro said in comment to the accusations: "They sent the request to move the bus stop and the State Board sided with us. This subject is dead. The State Board made his position clear." When asked about the issue with the Police Department's request, Curro said: "I will not comment on that. It is confidential."

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