Two seventh-graders at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale have been disciplined for “unacceptable” offenses against a classmate, school representatives confirmed Monday.
Officials at the Catholic secondary school announced Friday on their website that “immediate and significant disciplinary actions” had been taken against the pair of teens, following reports of their misconduct in a school hallway.
The office of the school’s principal, Brother Kenneth Hoagland, referred Newsday’s questions about the incident to Gary Lewi, a Long Island public relations executive, who is representing Kellenberg High in the case.
Lewi clarified that the two seventh-graders punished had engaged in misconduct against a classmate. Lewi declined to confirm the nature of the offenses or the punishments meted out, citing privacy rules protecting underage students.
“As minors were involved, we are constrained, both ethically and by law, from providing details of the inappropriate behavior,” school officials stated on their website.
An alumni Facebook page, “Friends of Kellenberg Memorial High School,” was filled with critical comments from school graduates and others over the weekend. Many correspondents contended that the school had been too lenient in its discipline of the two offenders, and also that the school had initially suggested on its website that all three students engaged in some sort of misconduct.
The school’s website announcement stated Monday, “It was reported that inappropriate behavior occurred among three seventh grade students in the hallways of our middle school, resulting in immediate and significant disciplinary actions against two of these seventh graders.”
Lewi said school administrators had determined that the misconduct, while unacceptable, “did not rise to the level of criminality.” A Nassau County police spokeswoman confirmed Monday that her agency had received no report of student misconduct on Friday.
Lewi said the school’s handbook spells out what is considered appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and that copies of the handbook are given to students and parents and discussed regularly during student assemblies.
“The school policy has always been fairly strict and forthright in regard to these issues, and it is reinforced every school year,” Lewi said. “There is no question that the school policy has consistently sought to prevent this sort of behavior and that it is reinforced.”
Lewi added that the school principal’s office welcomed phone calls from any parents or school alumni with concerns or questions about the incident.
Kellenberg High enrolls about 2,570 students in grades six through 12. Those in the younger grade levels, six through eight, are housed in a designated section of the building known as “The Latin School”.