A Seattle mom has never been more terrified to send her 11-year-old child to school on a bus.

Karenza Ferris thought her daughter, Zya, would ride a yellow bus during her first year as a middle school student at Jane Addams.

Zya assumed the same.

"A yellow bus would come, they would pick me up, and they would drop me off at school," Zya said.

Except, just a couple weeks before the start of the school year, Karenza received a letter from the school district. After students finish elementary school, the district contracts with the public Metro bus for transportation.

"The first thing that came out of my mouth was, 'What?'" Zya remembered. "You never know who rides it."

What bothers her mother the most, however, is the 12 sex offenders who live within a mile of the stop.

"It's terrifying," Zya said.

Zya would have to walk alone, more than a half-mile to school.

"It's completely unacceptable," Karenza said. "'There are sex offenders everywhere,' is what I was told."

Karenza called KING 5, she says, after she called the school for days to no avail. Eight people gave her about the same answer.

"There was nothing he could do to change the transportation order," she said.

After KING 5's calls for clarification, Seattle Public Schools told Karenza that Zya could choose a yellow bus if she didn't feel safe.

But the Metro bus policy and the bus stop will stay the same.

Zya plans to ride the yellow bus that stops 2 blocks from her house, but her mom still worries about other kids who may not know they have a choice.

"A small child by themselves is a target," she said.

The school system tells KING 5 they'll evaluate bus switches on a case by case basis, depending on safety.

For more information on how to switch your child's route, email

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