Decision No. 18,346
Appeal of A.G., on behalf of her child, from action of the Board of Education of the Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District regarding student discipline.
Decision No. 18,346
(September 27, 2023)
Guercio & Guercio, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Lisa L. Hutchinson, Esq., of counsel
ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals a determination of the Board of Education of the Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District (“respondent”) to suspend her child (the “student”). The appeal must be dismissed.
Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary. The student attended respondent’s high school during the 2022-2023 school year. On January 5, 2023, the student was involved in a physical altercation with another student at school.
On January 11, 2023, the district convened a long-term suspension hearing concerning the student’s conduct. Following the hearing, the superintendent found the student guilty of involvement in a mutual physical altercation with another student and recommended a suspension of 90 days. This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on February 23, 2023.
Petitioner challenges the excessiveness of respondent’s suspension. In connection therewith, she seeks interim relief permitting the student to attend respondent’s school pending a decision on the merits of this appeal.
Respondent contends that petitioner failed to exhaust administrative remedies. On the merits, respondent contends that its determination was supported by competent and substantial evidence. Additionally, respondent contends that the penalty imposed was proportionate to the severity of the student’s conduct.
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 ). 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). Here, the sole relief sought in the petition consists of a request for interim relief permitting the student to attend school during the pendency of this appeal. Petitioner’s stay request was granted on February 23, 2023. The long-term suspension at issue in this appeal ended thereafter and petitioner does not seek its expungement from the student’s record. Accordingly, there remains no meaningful relief that can be granted (Appeal of R.C., 62 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,234; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 60 id., Decision No. 17,943; Appeal of T.W., 54 id., Decision No. 16,728).
In light of this determination, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions.
THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.
END OF FILE
 Respondent's high school principal suspended the student from school for five days from January 6 through 12, 2023.
 Although the student did not serve the entirety of his suspension, respondent would be precluded, at this juncture, from imposing an additional period of suspension beyond its expiration (Appeal of R.C., 62 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,234; see Appeal of N.V.D., 60 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,985).