Skip to main content

Decision No. 17,777

Appeal of R.W., on behalf of his children D.W. and L.W., from action of the Board of Education of the Mount Sinai Union Free School District regarding a personnel matter.

Decision No. 17,777

(October 30, 2019)

Kevin A. Seaman, Esq., attorney for respondent

BERLIN., Interim Commissioner.--Petitioner, on behalf of his children D.W. and L.W. (“the students”), appeals the refusal of the Board of Education of the Mount Sinai Union Free School District (“respondent”) to reassign the principal of its high school.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  Petitioner is a resident of respondent’s district whose children attend its schools.  Petitioner requested that respondent reassign its high school principal due to a personal conflict between petitioner and the principal.  Respondent denied this request, and this appeal ensued.

Petitioner alleges that respondent’s refusal to reassign the principal infringes upon the students’ “right to an education in a safe and supportive environment, free from the fear of and/or potential for harassment and bullying by students and/or faculty because of [the principal’s] ongoing conduct.”  For relief, petitioner requests that the high school principal be reassigned; that a plan be developed which might insulate the students from anticipated bullying due to the high school principal’s presence; and that respondent develop a plan that would allow petitioner to participate in the students’ education without “undue emotional distress and/or anxiety” due to the principal’s presence.

Respondent contends that the high school principal has not engaged in conduct for which he can be disciplined and/or reassigned.

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 Sutton, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,331; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 id. 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937).  Respondent has submitted publicly available information indicating that the high school principal passed away on July 19, 2019.  As indicated above, each of petitioner’s requests for relief concerns this high school principal and the alleged effect his presence would have on petitioner’s children.  Because the high school principal has passed away, the appeal is moot and must be dismissed.

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