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Decision No. 15,903

Appeal of R.A., on behalf of his son R.A., from action of the Board of Education of the Brentwood Union Free School District and Donna Jones, Superintendent, regarding student discipline.

Decision No. 15,903

(March 25, 2009)

Ingerman Smith, LLP, attorneys for respondents, Susan E. Fine, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the suspension of his son, R.A., by the Board of Education of the Brentwood Union Free School District (“board”) and its superintendent.  The appeal must be dismissed.

On January 21, 2009, R.A. was suspended from school as a result of an incident that occurred earlier that day.  A superintendent’s hearing was held on February 11, 2009.  The hearing officer sustained the charges against R.A. and recommended that his suspension be continued through the end of the 2008-2009 school year.  By letter dated February 13, 2009, the superintendent upheld the suspension.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on March 19, 2009.

In the case of a suspension in excess of five days, Education Law §3214(3)(c)(1) provides that an appeal to the board of education lies from a superintendent’s disciplinary determination.  Accordingly, the decision of a superintendent to suspend a student following a hearing must be appealed to the board of education prior to initiating an appeal to the Commissioner (Appeal of J.R-B., 46 Ed Dept Rep 509, Decision No. 15,578; Appeal of K.M., 45 id. 62, Decision No. 15,261).  The record in this case reflects that petitioner did not request the board’s review of the superintendent’s determination.  Thus, the appeal must be dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

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