Tonawanda News

Local News

April 6, 2007

NT: Residency dispute forces child to be pulled from school

Gail Stone told the North Tonawanda School District she was moving.

Stone and her daughter, Samantha, moved from Kiel Street to Sommer Street, a move that’s practically around the block. She sent the district her new address and thought everything was taken care of for her fourth-grade daughter.

The move happened on Feb. 1. Almost two months passed, and the district sent Stone a letter stating she needed proof of residency, she said. The letter asked for numerous possible documents which proved her new residency, such as tax returns, Social Security or utility bills, Stone said.

Stone doesn’t have any of the items, she said. She doesn’t get Social Security, didn’t do her taxes yet and utilities are included in her rent.

She sent in mail delivered to her new home, pay stubs and a television bill, but it was not enough, she said.

“I sent them copies of everything I could,” Stone said. “That’s not good enough. I’m not hiding anything.”

And so, Stone pulled her daughter out of Gilmore Elementary School. Samantha Stone has now been out of school for two weeks, and with a solution nowhere insight, Gail Stone decided to home school her.

But the district wouldn’t let her do that, either, she said.

“I’m frustrated and angry,” Stone said. “I don’t know what they want from me. They know where I live. They’re sending me mail.”

Stone has talked to North Tonawanda Superintendent Vincent Vecchiarella and North Tonawanda Board of Education President Scott Schultz but has so far gotten nowhere, she said.

Multiple messages were left with secretaries at the North Tonawanda School District for Vecchiarella and interim assistant superintendent Patrick Holesko on Wednesday and Thursday. A 45-minute visit to the school administration building got no response.

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