District Avoids Questions About “Three Nights a Week” Eligibility Requirement for Students of Divorced Parents

Using a strategy that would likely confuse even Punxsutawney Phil, Rye City School District administrators have opted to stay out of the shadow cast by last month’s dispute over resident eligibility criteria for students of divorced parents.

Published February 10, 2013 5:00 AM
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Using a strategy that would likely confuse even Punxsutawney Phil, Rye City School District administrators have opted to stay out of the shadow cast by last month’s dispute over resident eligibility criteria for students of divorced parents.

 

By Sarah Varney

Using a strategy that would likely confuse even Punxsutawney Phil, Rye City School District administrators have opted to stay out of the shadow cast by last month’s dispute over resident eligibility criteria for students of divorced parents. So far, the District isn’t answering questions about the formal procedure for expulsion or commenting on the actual rules used to determine residency. Getting legal help from www.sariehlawoffices.com/newport-beach-family-law/ is a great idea keeping the children’s best interest in mind.

In a recent incident as stated by child custody attorneys, the mother of a high school student was initially informed that her daughter would be expelled in eight days because surveillance showed the student does not spend three or more school nights each week sleeping in Rye.

A survey of the New York State Department of Education Office of Counsel shows that the use of surveillance is used by school districts in these cases. Assistant Superintendent for Business Kathleen Ryan, who heads up efforts to identify ineligible students, cited “a commissioner’s decision” stating the “three nights-a-week” rule.

In response to a query about this rule, the State Department of Education tossed the question back, citing Student Admissions Policy 5150, “A resident student is one whose legal residence is within the boundary of the District and whose parents/legal guardian have the same legal residence or who is living with a person who has custody of the student and who has a legal residence within the District.” In response to questions about the “three nights or more” rule, the district responded with the same three-night policy. It did not address specific questions about the rule. The District did state emphatically that it is not targeting students of divorced parents in its efforts to discover ineligible students. For good legal advice you can try this out and get a good legal expert to provide you the right kind of advice.

In the end, Rye parent Laura Shuler produced her custody agreement along with other documents to void Ryan’s decision to expel her daughter. “Why did they go to this extreme? Why should I have to prove where my daughter spends her school nights,” asked Shuler. “If Dr. Alvarez had called me and said, ‘This is clearly a mistake,’ that would have been fine, but the matter was handled in a bizarre fashion.”

While the District may not be targeting children of divorced parents, this sort of situation could cause real stress for some parents, said Shuler and an attorney’s help for families is a must in these scenarios. “There are parents out there who are in a more vulnerable position [than I] who might really be frightened by this kind of thing,” added Shuler.

Situations where children spend three nights a week with a non-custodial parent who does not live in Rye are common. One high school student told of several peers who have “Wednesday to Wednesday” arrangements with divorced parents.

Several parents in the same situation as Shuler, in terms of how many school nights a child spends with a non-custodial parent outside of Rye, had strong words about the matter.

“That is the craziest thing that I have ever heard. They should be spending their time on how to improve education and lower their budgets. This is an outright misuse of power and an invasion of privacy,” said an elementary school parent who requested anonymity.

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