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Decision No. 15,203

Appeal of ANTHONY GAZZOLA, JR., on behalf of his son ANTHONY GAZZOLA III, from action of the Board of Education of the South Country Central School District, and Dr. Michael LaFever, Superintendent, regarding involuntary transfer.

Decision No. 15,203

(April 6, 2005)

Guercio & Guercio, attorneys for respondent, Gary L. Steffanetta, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals actions of the Board of Education of the South Country Central School District and Superintendent Michael LaFever ("respondents") regarding an alleged involuntary transfer of his son, Anthony. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner's son is a student at respondent's Bellport High School ("Bellport"). By letter dated July 30, 2004, district administrators informed petitioner that Anthony had been selected as a candidate for the South Haven High School Academy ("South Haven") program to begin in September 2004. At a meeting on August 20, 2004, petitioner told the superintendent that he wanted Anthony to remain at Bellport.

On August 31, 2004 the superintendent conducted a hearing with petitioner and his advocate. He determined that South Haven was the most appropriate educational setting for Anthony and informed petitioner of this decision by letter dated September 2, 2004.

By letter dated September 7, 2004 respondent informed petitioner that Anthony could attend Bellport starting September 8 (the first day of school). Though petitioner requested interim relief allowing his son to stay at Bellport, I did not act on this request because respondent informed me shortly after this appeal was commenced that it allowed Anthony to remain at Bellport.

Petitioner contends that his son was involuntarily transferred to South Haven in violation of Education Law �3214(5). 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 K.M., 41 Ed Dept Rep 318, Decision No. 14,699; Appeal of N.B., 40 id. 515, Decision No. 14,542; Appeal of N.C., 40 id. 445, Decision No. 14,522). Here, petitioner's son was allowed to remain at Bellport. The record also reflects that respondents do not plan to require petitioner' s son to attend South Haven; he may continue to attend Bellport. Therefore, this appeal is moot(Appeal of K.M., supra; Appeal of D.C., 41 Ed Dept Rep 277, Decision No. 14,684; Appeal of Camille S., 39 id. 574, Decision No. 14,316).

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