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November 2, 1999

Freeport H.S. Student Held Up By Box Cutter Wielding Assailant. Parents Of Victim Given Run Around By School Administration and Principal Of High School.

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On Tuesday, September 28th, 1999, Mike (not his real name), a Freeport High School student was walking by the duck pond on his way home from school when he was accosted by a box cutter wielding assailant and two accomplices. When he arrived home, Mike advised his father of the assault and Mr. Doe (not his real name) brought his son back to the high school to report the incident to the Freeport Police Officer, who was posted there. While the officer was taking the report, one of the assailants drove by and was identified by Mike. He was apprehended by the quick thinking Freeport policeman.

The following day Mr. Doe went to the High School to talk to the Principal, Dr. Northover. Fearing for the safety of his son Mike, Mr. Doe wanted the assailants, who his son bravely identified, expelled from the high school. When he advised Dr. Northover of this, he was told that he had to fill out a affidavit. When Mr. Doe asked Dr. Northover for a copy of the School District Policy regarding such matters, she wouldn’t give it to him. Unable to produce the policy, Northover remained adamant that Mr. Doe write an affidavit detailing the incident. On October 1, 1999, not having received any explanation from Northover nor a copy of any School District Policy explaining the necessity of such an affidavit, Mr. Doe wrote to the Superintendent of Schools, Josephine Moffett. Mr. Doe sent copies of his letter to the Freeport Board of Ed., Senator Fuschillo, Assemblywoman Murray and the Commissioner of Education, Richard Mills. Mr. Doe wrote that, "In the event that there is not such a policy, I expect that you will notify us of this." (copies of all Mr. Doe’s correspondences follow)

Within the next couple of days, Mr. Doe heard from Senator Fuschillo’s office and Assembly woman Kate Murray. A staff member of the Senator asked Mr. Doe to keep them informed. Assembly woman Kate Murray personally called and wrote to him. Mr. Doe told FreeportNYNews that Ms. Murray showed great concern and that he really appreciated her effort. Ms. Murray told Mr. Doe that she called and spoke to Superintendent Moffett. After the conversations between Superintendent Moffett and Assemblywoman Murray, Moffett did not get back to Mr. Doe.

Ten days after the incident on October 8th, Dr. Anthony Ciaglia, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum left a message on Mr. Doe’s answer machine. Mr. Doe called back at 3:50 that afternoon and got Ciaglia’s answer machine. Mr. Doe said to FreeportNYNews that he couldn’t understand why he was getting a machine rather than a person. "I thought the business hours of the District were till 4:30," he said. "I waited till 4:15 and then had to go back to work.." Mr. Doe had still not received a copy of the Policy requiring him to prepare an affidavit or any explanations from the District.

On October 12th Mr. Doe still had not heard from Dr. Ciaglia. Mr. Doe called Ciaglia’s office twice that day and was told he wasn’t available. Ciaglia never returned the calls. On October13th Mr. Doe called Ciaglia’s office five times. Each time he was told Ciaglia was not available and Ciaglia again did not return any of the phone calls. Finally, on October 14th Ciaglia returned Mr. Doe’s phone call. Mr. Doe explained that Ciaglia told him that there was no policy requiring him to write an affidavit and that he must have not understood Dr. Northover when she requested a written affidavit.

On October 18th Mr. Doe finally met with Dr. Ciaglia. Mr. Doe explained that Ciaglia was still against expelling the students that accosted his son. Mr. Doe said he asked Dr. Ciaglia, "If this was your kid, would you want them in the school after he identified them to the police?" Mr. Doe said Ciaglia didn’t answer and that it was only after he stressed that he would settle for nothing less that Ciaglia agreed to set up a Superintendent’s hearing "within the next ten days."

Today, Mr. Doe told FreeportNYNews that he still has not heard from Superintendent Moffett, the Freeport Board of Education, Commissioner Mills or anyone from the State Education Department. The only one who has ever contacted Mr. Doe in writing has been Assemblywoman Kate Murray.


October 1st letter to Superintendent Moffett (not answered)

John and Jane Doe
Freeport, NY 11520

October 1 1999


Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Josephine Moffett
Administration Building
235 N. Ocean Avenue
Freeport. NY 11520

Dear Ms. Moffett:

I am a life long resident of the Freeport Community, and I am very disappointed about the way I was treated by the Freeport High School Principal. Dr. Northover.

On Tuesday. September 28, 1999 my son Mike, a junior in the high school, was on his way home, as he had ninth period open. He was walking on the sidewalk by the duck pond, and was held up by three youths, one with a box cutter. When he informed me of this, I brought him up to the school and reported it to the police officer who was posted at the school. While reporting the incident to the officer, one of the youths rode past us and he was apprehended. The police also apprehended one of the other youths who was involved.

On Wednesday, September 29, 1999, I went up to speak to Dr. Northover to discuss the incident and to find out what the District Policy is to keep the offenders out of school. The principal informed me that I had to fill out an affidavit. I had asked her for a written copy of the policy on these matters, and she would not give me any information, not even as to why I needed to fill out an affidavit. I do not see why I was not provided with a copy of the policy since the Freeport School District does have its own policies. I walked out of her office feeling like I had gotten nowhere and that she did not care that my son was victimized.

The police have done their job. A police report was filed with the department. I am confused as to the reasons why Dr. Northover was adamant that I fill out an affidavit and also do not understand what must be in this affidavit.

I am requesting a copy of the policy that shows I need to give an affidavit on this matter. Upon receipt of this policy, I will call you to set up an appointment with you to discuss this matter. In the event that there is not such a policy, I expect that you will notify us of this.

I am thanking you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,
John Doe

cc: Board of Education
Charles Fuschillo, Senator
Kate Murray Assemblywoman
Richard Mills, Commissioner of Education

 

October 5th letter to Dr. Ciaglia

John and Jane Doe
Freeport, NY 11520
October 5, 1999

Dr. Ciaglia
Assistant Superintendent of School
235 North Ocean Avenue
Freeport, NY 11520

Dear Dr. Ciaglia:

As per our telephone conversation on this date, you informed me you would send me a copy of the policy that deals with my specific incident. I am also requesting the latest versions of any Code of Conduct that deals with this incident.

In addition to these requests, I would like a copy of the minutes of board meeting where the latest Code of Conduct was approved by the Board of Education. I would also like a copy of the Code of Conduct, Partnership and Responsibility for 5th through 12th approved by the Board of Education in or about the spring of 1995.

In closing. I would like to know what is being done to assure me that my son has a safe environment in school as I am very concerned about retaliation.

Sincerely,

John Doe

 

October 14th letter to Assemblywoman Kate Murray

John and Jane Doe
Freeport, NY 11520

October 14, 1999

Assemblywoman Kate Murray
3000 Hempstead Turnpike
Levittown, NY 11756


Dear Assemblywoman Murray:

Enclosed herewith is a copy of a letter to Dr. Ciaglia, Assistant Superintendent of Freeport Schools, dated October 5, 1999. As of this date, I have not received any of the information that I have requested.

If there is any possible way that you can assist me in this matter, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

John Doe

cc: Richard Mills, Commissioner of Education
Senator Charles Fuschillo

 

 

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