Two school districts deny enrollment to Port Chester third-grader

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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.

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