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Jun 9, 2017 2:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Killorans File New Lawsuit Against Westhampton Beach School District Over Son's Education

The Killoran family has filed another federal lawsuit against the Westhampton Beach School District on behalf of eldest son, Aiden.
Jun 13, 2017 4:04 PM

The parents of a 14-year-old Remsenburg boy with Down syndrome have filed a second federal lawsuit against the Westhampton Beach School District, alleging that officials are continuing to go out of their way to prevent their son from attending the district’s middle and high schools.

The latest lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, June 13, in federal court in Central Islip, charges that Westhampton Beach administrators failed to create a “reasonable” Individual Education Plan, or IEP, for Aiden Killoran as they were ordered to earlier this year by an independent hearing officer, according to Aiden’s father, Christian Killoran. While a new IEP was created, it recommends that Aiden—who is non-verbal and requires special life skills-type classes—attend the neighboring Eastport South Manor School District as it already offers such programming, according to Mr. Killoran.

“This goes to what the heart of the matter has always been,” Mr. Killoran, an attorney, said this week. “Does the district have the right to outsource his education? Their position seemingly is that they do have that right, and our position is that they do have that right and the regulatory capacity to do that.

“But before they instinctively outsource his education,” he continued, “they need to examine whether his education needs can be met internally.”

Kevin Seaman, a Stony Brook-based attorney representing the Westhampton Beach School District, did not return calls seeking comment this week.

Westhampton Beach school officials have said for years that they do not have the programs or staffing necessary to educate Aiden, who is now partially enrolled in the district though he is being home schooled for certain subjects, like math and reading, and attends the middle school only for other services, such as speech therapy. The Killorans have been fighting to force Westhampton Beach to begin offering programs similar to Eastport South Manor, which has a tuition agreement with the Remsenburg-Speonk School District, so that their son can attend the same school as his siblings, Christian, 13, who attends Westhampton Beach Middle School, and Shannon, 9, a student at Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School, and the friends Aiden made in Remsenburg.

The latest lawsuit will be the third active one filed by the Killorans against Westhampton Beach during their ongoing two-year battle to enroll Aiden full-time in the district’s middle school. The two prior suits, filed in state and federal court, allege that Westhampton Beach administrators have discriminated against Aiden because of his medical condition. In addition to unspecified monetary damages for emotional, psychological and physical injuries suffered by Aiden and his parents, the latest lawsuit demands that Westhampton Beach at least make an attempt to educate Aiden within the district.

In January, independent hearing officer Nancy Lieberman announced that Westhampton Beach must enroll Aiden and convene a Committee on Special Education to evaluate his education, as well as create a new IEP for him. Mr. Killoran says that while the district did those things, it is still recommending an out-of-district placement and, in his eyes, they never actually considered educating Aiden in-house.

“They haven’t proceeded in good faith,” Mr. Killoran said. “They convened a kangaroo court for the case and are still recommending a placement out of district, which is not the least restrictive environment possible.”

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At this point, isn't it just "Sport Suing" on the part of the father? C'mon, already!

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 10, 17 9:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
If Aiden is a Remsenbrug resident with the option of attending either WHB or ESM, how is that outsourcing his education? ESM has the appropriate services already in place. If I were his parent, that would be a no brainer. Keeping this child in limbo and continuing to file lawsuit after lawsuit seems like educational neglect on the part of his parents.
By zappy (65), east quogue on Jun 10, 17 7:58 PM
The parents should really ask themselves what is the end result they are looking for. Suing a school district for something that they are incapable of is ridiculous.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 11, 17 1:29 PM
I would bet that this boys ability to communicate is better than an illegal fugitive who is illiterate in both Spanish and English. Why are the legal tax paying citizens getting any grief?
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 13, 17 6:07 AM