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Decision No. 15,189

Appeal of K.G.B., on behalf of her daughter K.W., from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Elmira regarding student discipline.

Appeal of K.G.B., on behalf of her daughter C.W., from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Elmira regarding student discipline.

Decision No. 15,189

(March 11, 2005)

Sayles & Evans, attorneys for respondent, James F. Young, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Elmira ("respondent") to suspend her daughters from school. Because the appeals involve common issues of law and fact, they are consolidated for decision. The appeals must be dismissed.

On March 15, 2004, C.W. was involved in an altercation with another student as they were exiting the school bus after school. The next day, C.W. and K.W. were both involved in an altercation on school property with that same student and several others. C.W. and K.W. were suspended and superintendent's hearings were held before a hearing officer on March 22, 2004. The hearing officer recommended that C.W. be suspended for the remainder of the school year, summer school and the first half of the 2004-2005 school year. The hearing officer recommended that K.W. be suspended for the remainder of the 2003-2004 school year. By decision dated March 29, 2004, the superintendent accepted the hearing officer's recommendations. By decision dated May 18, 2004, respondent upheld the superintendent's decision. These appeals ensued and petitioner's requests for interim relief were denied on July 14, 2004. K.W.'s suspension ended on June 24, 2004 and C.W. was allowed to return to school as of January 3, 2005.

Petitioner argues that the suspensions are excessive and requests a determination that C.W. was the victim of the attack and that she be allowed to return to school no later than February 2005. Petitioner further requests a determination that K.W. was only assisting her sister and that she be allowed to return to school no later than September 2004.

The appeals must be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner of Education will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of R.M. and L.M., 44 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 15,154; Appeal of M.F. and J.F., 43 id. 174, Decision No. 14,960). Petitioner did not request expungement of her daughters' records. Since the suspensions have been served, no further meaningful relief can be granted and the appeals must be dismissed as moot (Appeal of R.S. and R.S., 44 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 15,141; Appeal of R.R. and K.R., 41 id. 405, Decision No. 14,726; Appeal of D.H., 41 id. 142, Decision No. 14,640).

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties' remaining contentions.

THE APPEALS ARE DISMISSED.

END OF FILE