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Decision No. 15,325

DISABILITY, by his parent, from action of the Board of Education of the Enlarged City School District of the City of Newburgh regarding participation in an extracurricular activity.

Decision No. 15,325

(November 23, 2005)

Shaw & Perelson, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Jillian E. Cass, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the exclusion of her son from a school prom on June 4, 2005, and seeks additional relief regarding a suspension. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner's son was a student at North Junior High School in the Enlarged City School District of the City of Newburgh during the 2004-2005 school year. He was involved in misconduct and insubordination on February 23 and 24, 2005, and was suspended. A hearing pursuant to Education Law �3214 was conducted on March 14, 2005. At the hearing, the student admitted two of the specifications of misconduct, and was found guilty of six additional specifications. At the conclusion of the fact-finding portion of the hearing, the student's advocate requested a delay in the penalty phase of the hearing, and raised questions about his eligibility for special education. The advocate and district personnel then agreed that the student would remain suspended while parental consent was obtained to evaluate him for special education eligibility, and that alternative education would be continued.

Parental consent was obtained on March 23, 2005, and a meeting of the Committee on Special Education ("CSE") was scheduled for April 4. On April 4, petitioner failed to appear, and the meeting was rescheduled for May 18. On May 18, petitioner again did not appear, and the meeting was rescheduled for June 9.

On June 8, the advocate contacted the school and requested that the meeting again be rescheduled, this time to June 21.

In the meantime, this appeal was commenced on June 1, 2005. Among other things, petitioner sought an interim order allowing her son to attend a school prom on June 4, 2005. On June 3, petitioner's request for a stay order was denied. In addition to seeking a stay with respect to the prom, the petition also seeks various forms of relief with regard to the student's disciplinary hearing, and various alleged failures on the part of the district.

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 exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of B.K. and R.K., 44 Ed Dept Rep 195, Decision No. 15,146; Appeal of V.L., 44 id. 160, Decision No. 15,132; Appeal of Garvin, 44 id. 30, Decision No. 15,087).

With respect to the prom held on June 4, 2005, interim relief was denied on June 3, and no meaningful relief can be granted at this time.

I also find that the remaining claims are moot. Respondent's June 21, 2005 answer indicates that the CSE met on June 21, 2005, and concluded that petitioner's son should be treated as a student suspected of having a disability. The CSE further determined that the conduct resulting in his suspension was a manifestation of his presumed disability, and that he therefore could not be disciplined for his conduct. The CSE further made provision to expunge all references to the suspension from his record. As a result, it appears that respondent has provided all the remaining relief sought by petitioner in this appeal.