State issues stay order in Massapequa middle school battle

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MASSAPEQUA -

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued a temporary stay order Thursday in the battle over which Massapequa school sixth-graders will attend in the fall.

The order means that the school board will have to revert back to its original decision to move the district's more than 500 sixth-graders from the elementary schools to Alfred G. Berner Middle School in September.

The decision drew a mixed reaction from the packed crowd at Thursday's school board meeting. Many parents say they feel vindicated after rallying for the change. Others say it's the wrong move and point out that a stay order is only temporary.

Newsday: State halts cancellation of sixth-grade move to Berner Middle School

Even after the commissioner's decision, school board President Timothy Taylor said the board is still considering all of its legal options. That prompted a pair of sixth-graders to walk up to the mic and ask where they'll be headed next school year, which the crowd applauded. They were told they'd be going to Berner, which drew further applause.

Taylor repeatedly said the district will now explore its legal options, but did not go into any detail about what those would be.

News 12 reached out to the state Department of Education to find out how long the stay order will remain in place, but did not hear back.

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