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Decision No. 13,189

Application to reopen the appeal of ANDREA STRADA, on behalf of her son, JAMES, from action of the Board of Education of the Niskayuna Central School District regarding exclusion from graduation.

Decision No. 13,189

(May 23, 1994)

Higgins, Roberts, Beyerl & Coan, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Robert Coan, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks to reopen a previous appeal which was dismissed in Decision No. 13,076, on December 31, 1993. The application must be denied.

Petitioner's son was excluded from a high school graduation ceremony held on June 24, 1993. The only relief petitioner sought in the earlier appeal was a stay to allow her son to attend the graduation ceremony. I denied this stay request on the afternoon of June 24, 1993, before the graduation ceremony took place. My subsequent decision denying the prior appeal was based upon mootness since petitioner sought no other relief and the ceremony had already concluded.

Petitioner now seems to seek to evade the effect of my original decision through the amendment of her original petition dated June 21, 1993, to request additional relief. Petitioner cites no authority for this procedural maneuver, which I find entirely unauthorized by statute or regulation.

A party must comply with 8 NYCRR 276.8 when applying for reopening. In general, such applications are addressed solely to the discretion of the Commissioner, and will be granted only where there is a showing that a prior decision was rendered under a misapprehension of fact or that there is new or material evidence which was not available during the prior appeal. Petitioner has made no such showing in this matter.