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Superintendent Says School Acted Appropriately in Pines Incident

Local father says his pistol license was suspended after his son talked about using a water gun on classmates who pushed his friends.

Superintendent Patricia Sullivan Kriss said during Tuesday's school board meeting that Hauppauge district administrators acted appropriately regarding a student incident last month, which led to police intervention.

According to John Mayer, of Commack, on March 1, his 10-year-old son, who is a student at Pines Elementary School in Hauppauge, spoke with a few of his classmates about the pushing incident on the schoolyard a day after the shoving occurred. Although Mayer’s son was not involved in the scuffle, he and two of the other boys While Mayer’s lawyer said that none of the boys actually have any of the toy guns mentioned, word about the perceived threats got around to the principal, who not only suspended Mayer’s son for two days, but also filed a police report.

As a result, the Pistol Licensing Bureau of the Suffolk County Police Department suspended Mayer's pistol license. Mayer said that police told him he would have to wait until his son is 18 years old and moves out of the home to get it back.

Mayer is now looking to pursue legal action against the school district and Suffolk County Police.

The school district has been tight-lipped about the details of what occurred on March 1, citing privacy laws, but Superintendent Patricia Sullivan Kriss said Tuesday at a board of education meeting, that school administrators followed proper procedures.

"I’m very proud of the way our administration handled that and I’m very happy with the police and the way that they’ve worked cooperatively with us, and continue to work cooperatively with us. I do believe that as a district we do take these things very seriously and we do respond as best we can in all of the incidents," she said.

The superintendent posted the following statement on its website earlier that day:

"In response to recent news articles which have appeared regarding an incident at the Pines Elementary School in March 2013, the Hauppauge School District personnel followed appropriate protocols in dealing with the situation as presented. Our district is guided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in disclosing specific information to the public. FERPA is a federal law that protects privacy of students and, as such, prohibits districts from providing comment relative to any of its students. The District is in communication with the Suffolk county Police Department regarding this matter, as it is an ongoing investigation by their Pistol Licensing Bureau. As always, a priority for the district is the safety of our school community."

Police have not commented on the details of the incident, also citing privacy issues. 

A spokesperson from the department said that a final agency determination has not yet been made in regards to Mayer's New York State pistol license.

“The Suffolk County Police Department is respectful of, and compliant with, the Second Amendment, New York State law and case law as it pertains to an individual's right to bear arms. The Suffolk County Police Department also has an obligation to ensure the safety of people in the community, especially children, while this investigation continues,” the spokesperson said.

We Heart Long Island April 12, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Mayer received a call from the pistol licensing office, stating that police would be at his house to remove his guns and suspend his license. He let them in and gave them his guns. No warrant was needed. He complied with the law and licencing rules. Now he has the right to try and get his license back. I'm pretty sure obama doesn't work at the pistol licensing office in Suffolk.
We Heart Long Island April 12, 2013 at 12:24 AM
So should they go ahead and break that law?
Kevin El April 12, 2013 at 12:54 AM
The school district is full of bully's and hide any way they feel they can. The district's administrators and teachers use bullying in many ways, even agaist one another. Children learn from example, if anything we are schools are a mess and just teaching children knowing the right people is more important than knowing right from wrong and it's all about who you know instead of what you know.
AnotherPinesParent April 12, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Howard, how is your family's right to live threatened by elementary school kids' playground smack talk? Based on your logic, where does the police state end?
James R. White April 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Turning the police against the law abiding populace, disarming innocent civilians. Hopefully he files a major lawsuit against the school district AND the SCPD.

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