SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Trash, needles and human feces have become a common occurrence for Kristi Nelson's fifth-grade class on their field trips. The Perkins Elementary students are in Barrio Logan and often walk to downtown for educational trips.
"Our homeless friends have taken over our sidewalks and our paths," said Nelson. "We should be able to walk. It's their neighborhood, they live here and it's a beautiful downtown. They should be able to enjoy it and they can't get there safely."
She says on many days they're forced to walk in the streets because homeless tents take over the sidewalks. Nelson says on occasion the kids have been yelled at and she also worries about a child provoking one of the dogs.
10-year-old Matthew Richard Berrett says he's seen broken glass, feces, urine and people arguing.
"I like nothing about these walks because I have to walk on the street and deal with the smell," said Berrett.
Because of a lack of funding, transportation options for field trips are limited. But Nelson said they should feel safe walking regardless.
She's asking the mayor and city leaders to step up and make cleaning this area up a priority.
"I worry about them, that's my concern," said Nelson.
She invited media and city leaders on their walk Monday morning, Councilmember David Alvarez attended.
"This is what you do, you give your life to the children that you teach, and I give my life to the children that I teach. I serve them first and then I think about me. So, that's why I'm doing this."