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Decision No. 13,206

Appeal of GEORGE FORD and GEORGIA McLEAN FORD, on behalf of their son, DARIUS, from action of the Board of Education of the Yorktown Central School District regarding student discipline.

Decision No. 13,206

(June 20, 1994)

Plunkett & Jaffe, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Phyllis S. Jaffe, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal a decision of respondent Board of Education of the Yorktown Central School District regarding discipline of their son, Darius. The appeal must be dismissed.

On October 18, 1993, respondent's high school principal met with Darius to discuss his possible suspension for setting off a smoke bomb. That suspension was not imposed, but Darius was subsequently charged with misconduct for behavior that occurred in the principal's office while discussing the smoke bomb incident. Those charges allege that Darius was verbally abusive to the principal and assistant principal, refused to stop using inappropriate language and used his arm to sweep everything off the principal's desk, striking the assistant principal in the chest with a telephone. The charges also allege that as Darius left the principal's office, he broke a door window and doorknob and overturned a message board in the lobby.

A hearing on the charges was held on October 26, 1993 with Darius, petitioners and the Yorktown High School ombudsman. Petitioners declined a postponement of the hearing to obtain an attorney and stated that they and the ombudsman would represent Darius. Testimony was presented by the principal, assistant principal, Darius and Mrs. Ford. Darius stated that the charges were "mostly false", but admitted that he had swept everything off the principal's desk and that the telephone had hit the assistant principal.

By a decision dated October 28, 1993, the superintendent informed petitioners that Darius was being given an in-school suspension until December 13, 1993. During the period of suspension, Darius was provided with an alternative program by a tutor at another school building operated by respondent. This appeal ensued.

In their appeal, petitioners assert that Darius received a five-day suspension in connection with the smoke bomb incident even though respondent never presented evidence or conducted a hearing to clarify his involvement in that incident. However, nothing in the record supports these contentions. The record instead clearly indicates that Darius was suspended as a result of inappropriate behavior he exhibited in the principal's office while discussing the smoke bomb incident. Apparently, petitioners have apparently misunderstood the basis for respondent's in-school suspension of their son. There is no indication that Darius was ever charged with or disciplined for the smoke bomb incident.

I have reviewed petitioners' remaining contentions and find them without merit.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

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