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Decision No. 17,998

Appeal of D.T., on behalf of her daughter, from action of the Board of Education of the Roslyn Union Free School District regarding immunization.

Decision No. 17,998

(June 8, 2021)

Ingerman Smith, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Steven A. Goodstadt, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the determination of the Board of Education of the Roslyn Union Free School District that her daughter (“the student”) is not entitled to a medical exemption from the immunization requirements of Public Health Law (“PHL”) § 2164.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  At all times relevant to this appeal, the student attended one of respondent’s elementary schools.  By letter dated September 1, 2020, respondent’s director of pupil personnel services (“PPS director”) informed petitioner that the student needed the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (“Tdap”) and Polio vaccines in order to remain enrolled in school.  The PPS director indicated to petitioner that she needed to provide proof that the student received these immunizations by September 3, 2020.

On or about September 16, 2020, petitioner submitted, on behalf of the student, a request for a medical exemption pursuant to PHL § 2164 (8).  By letter dated September 18, 2020, respondent denied the request on the grounds that New York State does not accept titers for DPT as a means of establishing that a student is immunized to this disease and, further, that the information submitted was insufficient to establish immunity to Polio. This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on October 28, 2020.

Petitioner generally contends that her daughter should be allowed to attend school without receiving all required vaccinations.

Respondent argues that it reasonably denied petitioner’s request for a medical exemption from the immunization requirements of PHL § 2164.

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 that no longer exists due to the passage of time or a change in circumstances (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; see Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50 NY2d 707, 714 [1980]).  Where the Commissioner can no longer award a petitioner meaningful relief on his or her claims, no live controversy remains and the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of R.B., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,394; Appeal of N.C., 40 id. 445, Decision No. 14,522).  The record reflects that, subsequent to the filing of this appeal, petitioner submitted documentation to respondent indicating that the student received the required dose of the Tdap vaccine and serologic laboratory results demonstrating her immunity to polio (Public Health Law § 2164; 10 NYCRR 66-1.1; see Education Law § 914).  Based on this documentation, respondent readmitted the student to its schools “in or about” November 2020.  Given the student’s subsequent admission to school, no further meaningful relief remains to be awarded and the appeal must be dismissed (see Appeal of J.J., 59 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,817).