Skip to main content

Decision No. 16,732

Appeal of a STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY, by his parent, from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Rochester regarding immunization.

Decision No. 16,732

(April 2, 2015)

Edwin Lopez-Soto, Esq., attorney for respondent, Cara M. Briggs, Esq., of counsel

BERLIN, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Rochester City School District (“respondent”) that her son (“the student”) is not entitled to an exemption from the immunization requirements of Public Health Law (“PHL”) §2164.  The appeal must be dismissed. 

In August 2013, petitioner filed a request for a religious exemption to the immunization requirements of PHL §2164 on behalf of her son, a student with a disability, who was attending his last year of school in respondent’s district.  Before a final determination could be made on petitioner’s religious exemption request, petitioner submitted a request for a medical exemption to the immunization requirements. 

According to an affidavit submitted by respondent’s attorney, by letter dated September 4, 2013, petitioner’s request for a religious exemption was denied. By letter dated September 11, 2013, respondent denied petitioner’s medical exemption request.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner appeals only from respondent’s denial of her request for a medical exemption for her son.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on December 11, 2013.

Petitioner maintains that her son is entitled to a medical exemption from the immunization requirements of PHL §2164.  Respondent asserts that petitioner has not demonstrated that her son is entitled to such medical exemption.  Respondent contends that its determination to deny petitioner’s request is rational, is not arbitrary or capricious, and is in all respects proper.

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 a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836).

According to an affidavit by respondent’s Director of the Department of Exceptional Children, on January 6, 2014, subsequent to the denial of her request for interim relief, petitioner provided the district with documentation demonstrating that her son had been immunized.  The student was admitted to school and subsequently graduated in June 2014.  Accordingly, the appeal is academic and must be dismissed as moot.

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