A North Bellmore parent was arrested Tuesday evening after he allegedly made inappropriate comments directed at the principal of one of the district’s five elementary schools.
The man, whose name is being withheld by the Herald Life to protect the identity of his child, was arrested at his home on Nov. 5. He was charged with third-degree menacing and second-degree harassment in connection with statements he made at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School, according to a Nassau County District Attorney’s Office representative.
North Bellmore Superintendent Maria Testa said the parent made inappropriate comments directed at the school’s principal, Faith Skelos, to his child’s classroom teacher during a parent-teacher conference. Although Testa declined to comment on what the parent said, she said Dinkelmeyer officials followed district policies by calling police.
“At no time was anyone in imminent anger,” Testa said. “However, in accordance with our district protocol, the police were notified and immediately came to the school to meet with the classroom teacher and the principal.”
Shams Tarek, a Nassau County District Attorney’s office spokesman, said the man was arraigned on Wednesday, Nov. 6. His most recent court appearance was on Nov. 8.
According to New York state penal law, a person is guilty of third-degree menacing when, “by physical menace, he or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical injury.” A person is guilty of second-degree harassment when, “with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, he or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same; follows a person in or about a public place or places; or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy the other person and which serve no legitimate purpose.”
In keeping with district protocol, a letter was sent to North Bellmore parents about the incident, explaining that the man violated the North Bellmore code of conduct and is not permitted on school grounds until further notice, Testa said.
The superintendent also said that she visited Dinkelmeyer the day after the incident, and that the school was safe and secure. “The safety plan that we have in place worked,” she said. “In conjunction with police, we were able to move along swiftly to bring this situation to a close.”