Two school districts deny enrollment to Port Chester third-grader

Posted: Updated:

A Port Chester third-grader has missed three weeks of school this semester, and her mother says it's because no district will take her.

Melissa Pignetelli says her daughter, Sofia, was kicked out of Park Avenue Elementary School last month because the district says she doesn't live in the town.

Pignetelli claims she and her two children live with her mom blocks from her daughter's now former school.

Pignetelli tells News 12 it all started about two years ago when the Port Chester Public Schools District began looking into the residency of Sofia.

She says the district did an extensive investigation, including hiring private investigators who claim they took photos that prove Sofia lived with her ex-husband in Harrison. She says they took close-up photos of her daughter getting Halloween candy and others of her daughters leaving her ex-husband's apartment in Harrison on multiple occasions.

"It was such a violation of someone's privacy. I mean I was horrified, horrified," she says.

Pignetelli denies the claim, but decided to try and enroll Sofia in the Harrison Central School District, which denied her.

Pignetelli explains her ex-husband, who is not Sofia's biological father, helps pick up Sofia because she works two jobs.

She says it is not the district's business who is helping take care of her child, and thinks the whole situation needs to be resolved.

The superintendent of the Port Chester Public Schools District tells News 12 he can't comment on the matter, but says Pignetelli has the right to appeal the decision with the New York commissioner of education. Pignetelli says her first appeal was denied, and she is now filing a second time in the hope that the issue is finally resolved.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."