A municipal court judge has denied a Long Valley resident’s motion to file a complaint alleging a Washington Township school administrator harassed him and his family.
Judge Frank P. Leanza reviewed the written statement by Shaun King, a resident and parent of a Long Valley Middle School student, which alleged principal Mark Ippolito had harassed the family by way of repeated phone calls and email messages despite King’s request to funnel communication through legal counsel.
Leanza denied the claim, saying it did not meet the definition of harassment, therefore stopping King’s ability to file a formal complaint, according to court officials. In order for the claim to be made an official charge, it first needed to be reviewed in a probable cause hearing.
King filed a police report and probable cause complaint in late February after the parent and principal got into a verbal dispute regarding the standing of King’s daughter, a seventh-grader at the school.
King told Patch the contentious interactions didn’t start in February, however, and dated back to December of 2013, when the school called for King’s daughter to have physical and mental evaluations after an alleged self-mutilation incident. Medical and psychiatric professionals found no cause for concern and released the teen in December, King told Patch.