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Decision No. 16,423

Appeal of ELOISE DAVIS, on behalf of her son EMARI BRYANT, from action of the Board of Education of the Washingtonville Central School District regarding a diploma.

Decision No. 16,423

(October 5, 2012)

Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Margo L. May, Esq., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the refusal of the Board of Education of the Washingtonville Central School District (“respondent”) to issue a high school diploma to her son.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Emari Bryant was enrolled as a student in respondent’s district from September 2002 through June 30, 2007. During that time, he earned sufficient credits for graduation but had not passed three of the required Regents examinations and was therefore not eligible to receive a high school diploma.  In August 2007, Emari again took and failed the three required Regents examinations.  Emari did not return to school in respondent’s district after August 2007 and was subsequently dropped from the district rolls.

It appears that, at some point thereafter, Emari moved to the New York City School District.  According to the record, during the 2008-2009 school year, he took and passed two of the required Regents examinations but again failed the Regents Comprehensive English examination.  Emari became 21 years of age on January 16, 2009.  Despite having turned 21 in 2009, the record indicates that Emari again took the English Regents examination on June 17, 2011 – when he was 23 years old – and passed. 

On or about June 2011, petitioner, on behalf of then-23-year-old Emari, asked respondent to award him a high school diploma.  By letter dated July 14, 2011, the superintendent denied her request.  By letter dated October 3, 2011, petitioner appealed the superintendent’s denial to respondent, which appeal was denied by letter dated November 22, 2011.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on May 9, 2012.

Petitioner alleges that her son is entitled to a high school diploma.  Respondent alleges that the appeal is untimely, petitioner lacks standing to maintain the appeal and that petitioner failed to establish any legal right to receive a diploma from respondent.

An individual may not maintain an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310 unless aggrieved in the sense that he or she has suffered personal damage or injury to his or her civil, personal or property rights (Appeal of Waechter, 48 Ed Dept Rep 261, Decision No. 15,853; Appeal of Erickson, 47 id. 261, Decision No. 15,689).  Only persons who are directly affected by the action being appealed have standing to bring an appeal (Appeal of Waechter, 48 Ed Dept Rep 261, Decision No. 15,853; Appeal of Erickson, 47 id. 261, Decision No. 15,689).  Petitioner brings this appeal on behalf of her 24-year-old son.  Emari is beyond the age of majority and petitioner has not demonstrated any basis for her to represent Emari in this matter.  Petitioner also has not demonstrated that respondent caused any personal injury to her rights.  Therefore, petitioner is not an aggrieved party within the meaning of Education Law §310 and, thus, lacks standing to maintain this appeal.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE.