Friday, November 8, 2019

Local parent teacher organizations, associations and businesses work together for safety of school children

By Lorraine Glowczak

Children’s safety has become an issue in the Windham and Raymond communities as students wait at the end of their driveways and roadways to enter the buses that take them to school. In recent weeks, parents have recorded on their cell phones and shared on social media – the many drivers who have sped past a stopped school bus. The bus, with its blinking lights; stop sign extended is indicating the driver to stop so young students can cross the road safely and enter the bus. Unfortunately, many drivers have not stopped, as required by law – putting our children’s well-being at risk.  

RSU14 parent organizations, associations and businesses in both Windham and Raymond schools are gathering to create a solution. Together, they are raising funds to install “arms” extending the flashing stop sign on buses, so it makes it more apparent – and more difficult – for drivers to speed past a stopped bus.“When it comes to the safety of kids it makes absolute sense to combine resources and join with other likeminded groups, organizations and businesses to ensure the greatest impact is made for not only the RSU14 system but in other communities as well,” stated Ernesta Kennedy, Windham PTA President.

As a result, the organizations have decided to collaborate, starting a fundraiser to put the extended stop arms on the buses. The Windham PTA and Odyssey Angels as well as the Raymond PTO, along with the RSU14 and the towns, are working together to help with this problem. 

According to their newly developed fundraising website, Operation: Stop Arm, it is stated: “For many parents and residents, our biggest concerns are that of the safety of our children, however the safety of them getting on and off the bus shouldn’t have to be one of those concerns.”

Kennedy explained that drivers not stopping for school buses is a major problem in Windham and have created a solution. “We are raising money to purchase 15 extended stop arms for the RSU14 buses. Donations of any size will help, and every dollar raised is one more bus closer to our goal!

As stated on the website, the cost per bus is $2,100 and the total PTA/PTO fundraising goal $32,250.
To get involved and provide funds to keep the RSU14 students safe, make a financial contribution to: or contact Ernesta Kennedy at

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