Skip to main content

Decision No. 15,120


Appeal of A.F., on behalf of his son D.F., from action of the Board of Education of the Syosset Central School District regarding student discipline.


Decision No. 15,120


(September 30, 2004)


Reisman, Peirez & Reisman, L.L.P., attorneys for petitioner, E. Christopher Murray, Esq., of counsel


Farrell Fritz, P.C., attorneys for respondent, A. Kathleen Tomlinson, Esq., of counsel


MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals actions of the Board of Education of the Syosset Central School District (�respondent�) regarding the suspension of his son, D.F.  The appeal must be dismissed.

At all relevant times, D.F. was an 11-year-old sixth-grade student at one of respondent�s middle schools.  As part of an English class assignment, D.F. was required to maintain a journal.  After completing the assignment, D.F. continued to maintain his journal.  In it, he wrote stories of a violent and sexual nature using the names of other students at the school, allegedly with their permission.  On October 3, 2003, he read portions of the journal to his English class without incident.  According to respondent, the teacher did not hear anything violent or inappropriate because he was busy taking attendance.

Later that day, when D.F. asked if he could read some journal excerpts during his voluntary lunchtime program, the instructor asked to read them first.  The instructor found the contents disturbing and notified the school�s administration.

After petitioner and his wife met with several school administrators, D.F. was suspended from October 8 through October 15, 2003.  A superintendent�s hearing was scheduled for October 14, 2003 and rescheduled for October 21, 2003 at petitioner�s request.  On October 23, 2003, the hearing officer recommended sustaining the charges and imposing a 30-day suspension.  By letter dated October 23, 2003, the superintendent adopted the recommendations of the hearing officer.

On October 28, 2003, petitioner�s attorney appealed the suspension to respondent.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner�s request for interim relief was denied on November 14, 2003.  By letter dated November 18, 2003, respondent�s president notified petitioner that respondent affirmed the superintendent�s determination.

Petitioner requests that I overturn the suspension or greatly reduce it.  Among other things, respondent maintains that the suspension of D.F. was proper.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of D.W., 43 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,965; Appeal of L.B., 43 id. ___, Decision No. 14,952; Appeal of N.S., 42 id. 190, Decision No. 14,817).  Petitioner does not request expungement of D.F.�s records.  Since D.F. has served the suspension, no further meaningful relief can be granted and the appeal must be dismissed as moot (Appeal of R.R. and K.R., 41 Ed Dept Rep 405, Decision No. 14,726; Appeal of D.H., 41 id. 142, Decision No. 14,640; Appeal of N.B., 40 id. 515, Decision No. 14,542).

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