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Decision No. 15,965

Appeal of D.M. and M.K., on behalf of M.M., from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Oneonta regarding an athletic suspension.

Decision No. 15,965

(August 14,2009)

Hogan, Sarzynski, Lynch, Surowka & DeWind, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Wendy K. DeWind, Esq., of counsel

HUXLEY, Interim Commissioner.--Petitioners challenge the athletic suspension of M.M. by the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Oneonta (“respondent”).  The appeal must be dismissed.

On April 20, 2009, M.M. was suspended from respondent’s high school baseball team for five weeks, ending on May 24, 2009, for attending a party where alcohol was served.  The superintendent and respondent upheld the suspension.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioners’ request for interim relief was denied on May 27, 2009.

Petitioners allege that M.M.’s suspension was arbitrary and capricious, that the athletic director who investigated M.M.’s conduct at the party had a conflict of interest and that the investigation conflicted with school policy.  Respondent maintains that M.M.’s suspension was appropriate and denies that there were conflicts of interest.

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 Tine, 46 Ed Dept Rep 579, Decision No. 15,600; Appeal of N.C., 46 id. 358, Decision No. 15,532; Appeal of Lombardo, 46 id. 282, Decision No. 15,508).  Since M.M. has served the suspension and petitioner does not seek expungement of M.M.’s record, this appeal must be dismissed as moot.

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