Harpursville Parent Lawsuit Fails At Court


Harpursville parent Carrie Lusk (right) prepares for a school board meeting earlier this summer. Lusk helped lead the group that sued the district. Her husband Michael Lusk (center) ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board this year.

A Broome County judge has dismissed a lawsuit Harpursville parents brought against their school. The parents sued their district for violation of open meetings laws and financial irresponsibility earlier this summer.

The judge told parents to take their case to the ballot box. He said court isn’t the right forum for their complaints, and he also more or less rejected every one of the claims. On violation of open meetings, he said communities don’t have the right to debate all board decisions. They can observe, not necessarily discuss. He also said the district proved it hadn’t violated the law with evidence like meeting minutes. Board members gave statements swearing there’d been no secret meetings.

The parent group called the loss a “tragedy” in a statement on its Facebook page. It said that a broader cultural change is needed at the school, one that can’t happen simply by voting board members out of office.