Greenfield mother's crusade to start school later

CREATED Mar. 7, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar. 7, 2012

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  • Video by wtmj.com

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  • Shelley Walcott reports Video by wtmj.com

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GREENFIELD- A mother's crusade to keep students safe has turned into a national campaign -- and it centers around what time the school bell rings.

One mom says the school bell at Greenfield High School rings too early and that could hurt the health of her child.

Dolores Skowronet shot video of her 16-year-old son Ben at his school bus stop in January at 6:35 a.m.  Classes at Greenfield High School start at 7:10 a.m. 

Dolores Skowronet told TODAY'S TMJ4, "And actually I was surprised at how dark it was when I came back in the house and looked at the video.  That's when I realized how dangerous it was for him to be standing out there in the street."

W. Grange Ave. is a very busy street and there's no sidewalks out there.

Dolores Skowronet and other parents around the country formed an online group called start school later.  Members delivered a petition to Washington lawmakers this week.

They're asking for later start times.  Neighboring Franklin schools start at 7:20 a.m.  Greendale starts at 7:24 a.m.  Milwaukee Public Schools start after 8:30 a.m.

The president of the Greenfield School Board says the district can't afford to add any more drivers.

"Cost is one of the major factors.  With the budget that we're facing right now in our school district, it would cost us about $250-thousand dollars for busing.  And we didn't want to pay that," said Bruce Bailey.

"It really boils down to their health and their safety and their academics," said Dolores.

Dolores and the other parents want a national standard of schools starting no earlier than 8 a.m.