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Decision No. 15,993

Appeal of S.B.L., on behalf of her son R.R., from action of the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District and Superintendent Marion W. Tunney regarding student discipline.

Decision No. 15,993

(October 14, 2009)

Jeffrey P. Nieznanski, Esq., attorney for petitioner

Hogan, Sarzynski, Lynch, Surowka & DeWind, LLP, attorneys for respondents, John Lynch, Esq., of counsel

STEINER, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the superintendent and the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District (“respondents”) to suspend her son, R.R.  The appeal must be dismissed.

On June 2, 2009, the principal of the district’s Haverling Middle School suspended R.R. for five days beginning June 3, 2009.  Petitioner states that the principal telephoned her on June 2, 2009 to inform her of the suspension, but that she did not receive written notice of the suspension until June 6, 2009.  She attaches to her petition a copy of an envelope sent by regular mail addressed to the “Parents of R.R.” postmarked June 5, 2009.  In addition, petitioner asserts that the written notice failed to inform her of her right to request an informal conference with the principal.

Petitioner requests that the suspension be annulled and expunged from R.R.’s record because respondents failed to comply with the notice requirements of §100.2(l)(4) of the Commissioner’s regulations.

Respondents contend that the appeal is moot.  By letter dated June 24, 2009, the district’s attorneys notified petitioner’s counsel that respondents would remove the suspension from R.R.’s record.  By letter dated July 27, 2009, the district’s attorneys confirmed that the suspension had been removed from R.R.’s file.

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).  The record shows not only that R.R. has already served the five-day suspension, but also that respondents have removed the suspension from his record.  Since petitioner has already received the requested relief the matter is moot.

I remind respondents, however, of their obligation to comply with §100.2(l)(4) of the Commissioner’s regulations, which requires, among other things, timely written notice and notice of the right to request an informal conference with the principal.