Court Dismisses Student’s Lawsuit
Against the Ursuline School
A state Supreme Court justice has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Ursuline School student who was expelled for violating the school’s prohibition against violence.
Justice David Zuckerman ruled that the 15-year-old student’s claims that the Ursuline School breached its contract with the student and treated the student unfairly did not have merit. Zuckerman cited specific passages in the school’s Code of Conduct noting that violence or the threat of violence on or off campus are grounds for a range of disciplinary action—including expulsion.
“Ursuline has the right to expel a student who engages in violence off campus even when the incident is not at a school-related event/activity,” wrote Zuckerman in his decision.
The expulsion stemmed from a fight at The Westchester, a mall in White Plains, during the 2020-2021 school year in which the expelled Ursuline student was involved in a physical altercation with another female teenager who was not an Ursuline student. School officials only became aware of the altercation late last year after learning of the existence of a video documenting the attack.
“Our Student/Parent Handbook makes it clear that any use of force or violence even off campus is a serious disciplinary infraction and will not be tolerated,” said Ursuline President Colleen Melnyk. “We wish to emphasize that we do not take expulsion lightly. After review of the specific circumstances, acting in the best interests of our students, the administration had no choice but to take this action. We are grateful that the court has upheld our actions in this matter.”