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Decision No. 16,476

 Appeal of J.M., on behalf of her daughter R.M., from action of the Board of Education of the Brookhaven-Comsewogue Union Free School District regarding student discipline.

Decision No. 16,476

(April 26, 2013)

Lamb & Barnosky, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Eugene R. Barnosky and Mara N. Harvey, Esqs., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Brookhaven-Comsewogue Union Free School District (“respondent”) with respect to discipline imposed on another student. The appeal must be dismissed.

During the 2011-2012 school year, petitioner’s daughter, R.M., was a student at respondent’s Comsewogue High School (“Comsewogue”). The record indicates that on May 14, 2012, an incident occurred at Comsewogue between

R.M. and another student. The other student was suspended for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year. Petitioner alleges that R.M. was injured as a result of the incident and was unable to attend school or take tests. Petitioner further alleges that R.M. received home instruction during the summer and could not take the “State required Regents.”

Petitioner requests a suspension or expulsion of the other student “that is comparable for the damage [the other student] inflicted on [her daughter].”

The appeal must be dismissed for lack of standing. 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 is not the parent, guardian or custodian of the student who was disciplined. Nor does she allege how her daughter has suffered harm due to the length of the suspension of the student who was disciplined (cf. Appeal of J.T. and M.T., 40 Ed Dept Rep683, Decision No. 14,583).

The petition must also be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party. A party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of a petitioner is a necessary party and must be joined as such (Appeal of Murray, 48 Ed Dept Rep 517, Decision No. 15,934; Appeal of Miller, 48 id. 465, Decision No. 15,917; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879). Joinder requires that an individual be clearly named as a respondent in the caption and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition to inform the individual that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense (Appeal of Murray, 48 Ed Dept Rep 517, Decision No. 15,934; Appeal of Miller, 48 id. 465, Decision No. 15,917; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879). A decision in favor of petitioner would affect the other student. As such, petitioner was required to name the other student as a respondent and personally serve the other student with a copy of the petition and notice of petition (see Appeal of J.T. and M.T., 40 Ed Dept Rep 683, Decision No. 14,583).

In light of this disposition, I need not address respondent’s request to file a late answer.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE