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Aug 23, 2016 9:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Father Of Remsenburg Teen With Down Syndrome Warned To Stay Off School Grounds Or Face Arrest

Aug 24, 2016 8:38 AM

The parents of a Remsenburg teenager with Down syndrome were warned this week that they will be arrested if they attempt to bring their child inside the Westhampton Beach Middle School on the first day of classes next month.

Christian Killoran said he received the letter from Kevin Seaman, an attorney for the Westhampton Beach School District, on Friday, 10 days before an independent hearing officer will be tasked with determining if Mr. Killoran’s oldest son, Aiden, can enroll in the district’s middle school in time for the first day of classes on Tuesday, September 6. The hearing will begin on Monday, August 29, and is expected to last several days.

Mr. Killoran, an attorney, said he thinks the letter from the district was sent in response to statements he made to The Press earlier this month in which he said he would march his son into school on the first day of classes and force Westhampton Beach school officials to tell Aiden, who is now 13, that they do not want to educate him.

According to a copy of the letter provided to The Press, the district states it would not interfere if Aiden and his supporters decide to hold another peaceful protest in the public right-of-way outside the middle school, as they did last September. However, the letter also states that Mr. Killoran would be subject to arrest if he enters the school itself.

“By this correspondence, you are advised that you may not enter upon the real property of [the] Westhampton Beach School District on September 6, 2016,” the letter reads. “The District is gravely concerned about this situation and hopes for an amicable resolution by your acknowledgment that you will abide by the law and not enter upon the property of the Westhampton Beach School District on September 6, 2016.”

The document also states that if Mr. Killoran does not respond to the letter, district officials would consider going to court so they can ban him from all school property—a threat that Mr. Killoran says he does not plan to answer.

Mr. Killoran and his wife, Terri, have been fighting administrators in both the Westhampton Beach and Remsenburg-Speonk school districts for nearly two years to allow Aiden to attend Westhampton Beach schools for his middle and high school years. They would prefer that Aiden be allowed to stay with his longtime friends, whom he made as a student at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School, rather than go to another district to continue his education.

Westhampton Beach officials have argued that they do not have the required programs to educate a student with Aiden’s condition, insisting that he should instead attend another district, such as Eastport South Manor, with appropriate programming already in place. Several lawsuits and complaints with the State Education Department have since been filed and both sides have been battling for months.

Mr. Seaman, who has an office in Stony Brook, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The district sent Mr. Killoran a similar letter last year, and that exchange ended only after he told the courts that he would not enter school property. But this time, Mr, Killoran said he is not sure if he’ll concede to the same request, adding that he expects Westhampton Beach school officials to seek a restraining order against him next. The Killorans’ other son, Christian, 11, will start the Westhampton Beach Middle School in September.

The ongoing exchange should not affect next week’s hearing on Aiden’s case. If the officer rules in favor of the family, the district would likely be forced to admit the would-be eighth-grader. If the officer sides with the district, the Killorans have said they would most likely educate Aiden at home for the 2016-17 school year.

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It's so sad this issue is not resolved in a private manner for the benefit of this child,I would like to hear from a child psychologist what they think will be the long term effect on a child subjected to this public exploitation.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Aug 23, 16 11:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
... did you not just contradict yourself ?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Aug 23, 16 11:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Imagine if WHBSD used the resources for establishing a program instead of spending it on lawyers to prevent one. This is all really sad.
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Aug 23, 16 2:14 PM
This is sad. Its sad that WHB schools can't find a way to accommodate this child. Its also sad that it is more important to the parents that him attending school with his friends is more important than his education. In previous articles it states that last year the child repeated 6th grade rather than go to ESM. So is the childs education really a priority here?
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Aug 23, 16 3:19 PM
If Eastport/South Manor have programs, why doesn't wealthier WHB school have one? Oh, I know......
By sgt202 (75), Hampton Bays on Aug 23, 16 5:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good for the dad! Standing up for his child in a RIDICULOUS SYSTEM!!! Why can't Westhampton accommodate the family? They have plenty of English Second Language teachers though!! Enough is enough! Americans first!!
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Aug 23, 16 8:21 PM
A ridiculous system? What about the students that are slowed down by Aidan? I really understand the need for the parents to give their child a normal life in an unfortunate situation. At some point this really becomes a selfish endeavor with no regards for other students or taxpayers. Im glad the district is standing up to the bullying lehal tactics of Mr Killorans law license.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 23, 16 8:39 PM
Just so you know. Aiden would not be in the general education class, so he wouldn't be "slowing" anybody down. He would be in a special class, such as a 15:1:1 or 12:1:1. All Districts except WHB have these types of classes. Integration is not something new, but WHB retains an antiquated system. We are not asking for anything other than all other Districts do.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 24, 16 9:28 AM
"Slowed down by Aiden"
No student is slowed down by Aiden. Actually students learn some important lessons when kids with special needs are among them. Compassion, care, selflessness, community, to name a few. You may not agree with how the Killorans are pursuing this, as is your right. However, pointing out that WHBSD is outsourcing kids with special needs is a good thing. Awareness is a good thing. More, the Killorans are actually trying to break down barriers, which could be for the benefit ...more
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Aug 24, 16 9:31 AM
It's just one of chief's typical low information, narrow perspective, and even narrower point of view posts.

Typical "right winger", just like those who "Liked" his ignorant diatribe.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 24, 16 7:23 PM
Got self awareness?
Typical left winger would of "terminated" Aidan in the womb.
I'm what you refer to as a right winger, work in special education, and recognize how special these children are.
By jams (129), hampton bays on Aug 25, 16 1:43 PM
Maybe, maybe not.

And, perhaps you did not notice the quotations?

Ah well...
Aug 25, 16 6:19 PM appended by Mr. Z
Or, possibly you may be atypical?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 25, 16 6:19 PM

Just to clarify your misconception. Children in a classroom with something with special needs-actually do even better. In learning, test scores-and Life Skills of patience, kindness and empathy. Wow~ sounds like you could use some of that? Would you ever allow a school district to dictate where your child goes? i am assuming not. Why is it ok for them to tell these parents? These are are civil rights that are being trampled on. Its called IDEA from 1980s.

By MichelleTetschner (2), on Aug 26, 16 12:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
Slowed down??? Seriously??? Lets hope nothing ever rocks your perfect world......that is such a rotten statement!
By FranSilipo (1), on Sep 3, 16 5:24 PM
Just horrible that the WHB school system would do this!!!!! HORRIBLE!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Aug 24, 16 7:39 AM
Nobody cares until it's their kid, even the Killorans didn't I'm sure. One day everyone becomes "enlightened" by the struggles of others....
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Aug 24, 16 11:28 AM
Yeah Mr z a typical Dem who loves minorities, and the unfortunate. Meanwhile every urban defunct city from Baltimore to Chicago has been run by Dems, and pounded minorities into the ground. Dems blame big business but they line the pockets of Hillarys campaign. Mr Z you need to stop reading the internet.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 25, 16 12:34 AM
Human greed and a lust for dominance knows no party.

You really need to stop embarrassing yourself...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 25, 16 3:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
Grotesque to watch a junk show like WHB deny providing an education. If the family was from Ecuador they would be on the front page of the yearbook.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 25, 16 5:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
WHB sucks!
By HB90 (164), southampton on Aug 25, 16 8:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
You are the one who said right winger genius Z
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 25, 16 10:37 AM
What's the legal grounds for denying the dad entry to school grounds? It's not his right to be there for his son's various activities, which all parents can attend?
By Marytango99 (3), East hampton on Aug 25, 16 11:42 AM
I think this is unfortunate for both sides, I think Aiden would benefit from a school that could provide the services he would need to be successful in his school career. On the other hand I understand the parents wanting their child to attend school with this friends, but is that what this is all about? At this point it seems that it is a battle against Dad and the district and not about Aiden anymore!
By KarenBruno Minunno (1), on Aug 25, 16 7:57 PM
2 members liked this comment
First off, Correct the district for saying Aiden has a condition. HE DOES NOT have a condition. He has Down syndrome. We have the same issue here in PA. Our school district DOES NOT provide special ed classes in the elementary or middle school grades. Meeting the needs of students with disabilities takes the focus away from their A+ grades..They bus the kids into other districts that provide those services..(which costs taxpayers extra $). It is TOTAL BS...our kids should be able to attend ...more
By LizO'Neill DeSantis (1), on Aug 25, 16 8:57 PM
Good for these parents to stand up and fight hard! Do these people who are commenting realize the school/city is using Tax Payer monies? To sue parents. This is shameful. Yes, it should have been worked out, and all those monies that are being given to the lawyers could have gone into resources to remedy this situation. These schools are bullying this poor family....
By MichelleTetschner (2), on Aug 25, 16 11:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Appalling that we are still fighting in 2016!
By MaryPeck (1), on Aug 26, 16 12:18 AM
Chris and his wife are two of the best people I know, kind and loving parents and why on earth is this happening to them. I am behind you Aiden, 100%, I still remember your beautiful baby smiles
By noradora (1), New Suffolk on Aug 26, 16 12:02 PM
There is a school and programs for Aiden. The problem is that the parents don't like the options. Most of us don't like the way the public system is run, but that is what you get with public education. If we all fot what we wanted our taxes would be unbearable.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 27, 16 3:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
You need to do some research.
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Aug 29, 16 11:11 AM
1 member liked this comment