Pulaski Street suspension policy changes coming; meeting Sept. 12

FILE PHOTO | A special meeting will be held next month to explain the findings of a state probe into improper suspensions at Pulaski Street School.

The Riverhead Special Education Parent Teacher Association will host a question-and-answer session in two weeks to explain the consequences of a state education department investigation that found Pulaski Street School officials denied students with disabilities protections while disciplining them.

The session, scheduled for Sept. 12, will help explain the steps administrators are taking in the wake of state-issued citations the district received in July after an investigation found improper suspension procedures at the elementary school.

Both superintendent Nancy Carney and a representative from the state education department will be in attendance.

Ms. Carney could not be reached for comment.

The state’s investigation began after an Aquebogue parent, Yolanda Thompson, filed allegations against the district claiming her son was unfairly suspended.

Three of her allegations were proven true, according to a state report.

Two of the allegations had to do with the particular student, who was removed from the classroom 13 times after he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder last year.

But the final allegation suggests other students with disabilities were incorrectly suspended by the school.

“None of the students with disabilities [who were suspended] were afforded the protections under [New York Code, Rules and Regulations] Part 201 as a result of the removals,” the report stated.

As a result of the findings, the district will have to file “written procedures which describe the changes made” and provide evidence that changes have been made to the school’s suspension policies and “that staff had been trained on the change in procedures” by Oct. 1, according to the report’s findings.

The special SEPTA meeting will be held in the Riley Avenue School cafeteria at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12.

The meeting is open to the public, and all are invited to attend, Ms. Gagliano said.

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