Concerned Taxpayers Group Protests Outside QV High School
About a half dozen protestors greet drivers with signs as they arrive for school.
It’s been decades since Pat Happe last protested, but that all changed this morning. The Sewickley resident was one of a half dozen residents who demonstrated outside Quaker Valley High School before classes began, hoping to raise awareness about a drop-off issue that is affecting the neighborhood.
As parents arrived to drop students off for class, members of the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley group greeted them with signs that read “Take the Bus, Not Our Homes” and “Save QV Homes.”
Residents said they hoped the signs would resonate with parents who opt to drop off students rather than use bus transportation, a decision they say is contributing to the destruction of a residential neighborhood.
Quaker Valley purchased two homes and is seeking to buy a third in the 700 block of Beaver Street next to the school where potential plans are to build a parking lot, bus turnaround and drop-off area for parents.
“I know there’s a better way besides taking our homes,” Happe said.
School officials said roughly 40 to 50 percent of the 620 high school students take the bus. And parents who do drop off say their reasons vary as to why.
"Bus transportation does not work for the majority of students whose afterschool activities include academic extra help, co-curricular clubs, yearbook, newspaper, internships, sports, jobs...," Patch reader Jerilyn Scott commented.
Leetsdale police issued warnings last week and now plan to ticket drivers who violate laws in the school zone. Leetsdale Patrolman Mike Slawianowski said no tickets have been issued so far this week.
Beth Carroll, president of the Concerned Citizens, said their message remains consistent and the group's numbers are growing.
Holding one of the yellow signs, Val W. Dschuhan of Leetsdale said he came out to support his neighbors.
“The verbal support is fine, but this means more,” he said.
Some members of the group say they will protest again tomorrow.
High School Principal Andrew Surloff said the group is free to demonstrate as long as they don’t disrupt students.
“Citizens are free to voice their opinions as we encourage our students to do. When you have an opinion, you’re free to do so in a civil manner. That’s the beauty of America.”