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P.E.I. parent frustrated about son's bus stop moving closer to sex offender's home again

Parent Kerri Kelly holds a petition with the signatures of residents who live on and near the private road, Pine Street, in Brackley Beach, stating they do not have an issue with a school bus going down the road. Currently, the bus stop is located before the road and right next to a convicted sex offender’s home.  ©THE GUARDIAN
Parent Kerri Kelly holds a petition last month with the signatures of residents who supported the bus stop her son uses to be relocated. She has been told the stop is moving back close to its original location, near the house of a convicted sex offender. -File photo

BRACKLEY BEACH, P.E.I. - A Brackley Beach parent who was able to get her son’s school bus stop relocated last month is upset the stop is moving back near its original location.

Kerri Kelly contacted The Guardian in December with concerns she had with the stop where her 10-year-old waited for the bus each morning. She said it was a problematic location because the bus stopped on MacAskill Crescent, just outside of convicted sex offender Don Ernst Harley’s home.

After The Guardian’s initial story ran in early December, Kelly was contacted by the director of the Public Schools Branch (PSB), Parker Grimmer, and was told that, following an investigation into the matter, the stop was relocated closer to her home where she could keep an eye on her son.

Related: Bus stop next to sex offender’s house concerns P.E.I. parents

Kelly was pleased her complaints were heard and her request to have the stop relocated was granted.

About a week later, The Guardian reported that Harley, who was given house arrest for sexually assaulting a tanning salon employee in Halifax, was back in jail after allegedly breaching that sentence order.

Related: School bus stop on P.E.I. moves away from sex offender’s house

Harley was sentenced on Nov. 30 to a 135-day conditional sentence, which included 90 days of house arrest at his Brackley Beach home.

He allegedly breached that conditional sentence twice within the first week, and was remanded into custody to serve the remainder of the sentence.

He is set for release on March 6.

Related: P.E.I. sex offender Donald Ernest Harley jailed for breaching house arrest

Earlier this week, Kelly received another call from Grimmer letting her know the stop will once again be moved, close to its original location near Harley’s home.

Kelly said Grimmer told her the accused isn’t in his house at the moment, and said that because the house isn’t winterized, he doesn’t think he will go back upon his release.

Kelly said Grimmer asked to meet with her later this month to look at options as to where they can put the stop, back on the public road where it was originally located, but Kelly said she doesn’t want the stop near Harley’s house.

“Even if not next to that house, my son will still have to walk by on his own, in the dark,” Kelly told The Guardian in a phone interview on Jan. 18.

“(Harley’s) very unpredictable,” she said, adding she didn’t know what he was capable of. “He could just show up early one morning. I‘m just super frustrated.”

Before the stop was moved, Kelly received signatures from neighbours who supported the bus stop’s relocation, so she doesn’t understand why it has to move back, and said Grimmer didn’t explain that to her.

Grimmer was unable to be reached for comment by deadline.

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