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Sep 2, 2015 10:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Family Protests Outside Westhampton Beach School Over Controversial Special Needs Decision

Christian Killoran, 11, holds a sign in support of his brother Aiden at a protest at Westhampton Beach Midlle School on Wednesday morning.  DANA SHAW
Sep 2, 2015 11:16 AM

Standing on the corner of Oneck Lane and Mill Road, a group of approximately 60 neon-clad protesters erupted into cheers as a silver Toyota Camry pulled up to the intersection and rolled down the back passenger window—revealing a smiling Aiden Killoran.

The 12-year-old nervously glanced around as drivers honked their horns. Friends and family wearing “We Want Aiden” shirts shouted words of encouragement for the boy as he was driven away from Westhampton Beach Middle School, where he will not be starting classes on Wednesday with the rest of his classmates and friends.

Aiden, who has Down syndrome and lives in Remsenburg, has been at the center of a controversy fought on his behalf over the past few months. Westhampton Beach School District officials maintain that the district does not have the necessary programs to educate him and want to bus Aiden to one of several surrounding districts that they say are better prepared to meet his needs. Aiden’s family, however, wants him to stay with his friends at Westhampton—and say they were shocked this spring to learn he might not be able to.

“Aiden is like the mayor of Remsenburg,” his 11-year-old brother, Christian, said Wednesday morning. “Everybody loves him, and if he goes to a different school, he will just be known as the kid with Down syndrome. But if he goes to Westhampton Beach, people will be looking out for him with anything going on with him, like, if people are making fun of him. That is why I think he should be here.”

Aiden’s parents, Christian and Terrie Killoran, have been fighting with both the Westhampton Beach and Remsenburg-Speonk school districts for the past several months over their son’s educational future.

Previously, the Killorans said they were led to believe that Aiden would be able to attend the Westhampton Beach Middle School after graduating from the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School this spring. Citing Aiden’s educational needs, Westhampton Beach school officials have since informed the family that their district lacks the necessary programming to educate Aiden during his middle and high school years, explaining that he must attend a different district, such as Eastport South Manor or Southampton, or enroll with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services come September.

Since then, the Killorans have filed a discrimination lawsuit against Westhampton Beach, alleging that the district does not want to educate certain special needs students once they reach middle and high school age. The lawsuit seeks a court order allowing their son to attend the middle school, in addition to $20,000 in statutory damages and legal reimbursements.

The battle came to a head last week after Mr. Killoran announced that he would be walking his son into the middle school on the first day of school, regardless of whether Aiden was permitted to attend classes there or not. Late last week, the district filed for a temporary restraining order with the U.S. District Court, seeking to bar the family from the school grounds and threatening to have them arrested if they violated the order.

On Monday, Justice Joseph F. Bianco oversaw a discussion between the district’s attorney and the Killoran family, with both parties eventually deciding a restraining order was not necessary. At the time, it was decided that the family would be able to host a peaceful rally in support of Aiden on the first day of classes, as long as they did not cross onto school property. At the same time, Mr. Killoran agreed not to walk his son into the building.

For a little over an hour on Wednesday morning, the group of more than 60 protesters stood behind police barricades on the corner outside of the school waving signs that read “Public school for everyone” and “Educate all.” To the side, a single Westhampton Beach Village Police officer stood watching the group, while district administrators—including Superintendent Michael Radday—observed from the front steps of the school.

“It is great,” Mr. Killoran said of the turnout. “It is a Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., so I know it is difficult for people to come out. But it is great to see so many supporters and friends, and to have so many supporters who couldn’t be here personally but extended their well-wishes and prayers and so forth.”

Mr. Radday declined to comment on the temporary restraining order request when reached on Friday afternoon, stating via email that “the district will not comment on pending litigation.”

In a letter to the editor published in the August 13 edition of The Press, Westhampton Beach Board of Education member Suzanne Mensch stated that she has become “extremely disheartened by the Killoran family’s repeated public efforts to bully the Westhampton Beach School District into developing an educational program for their son.” The Westhampton Beach district, she explained, offers such programming only at its elementary school.

She added that she was “particularly outraged” by Mr. Killoran’s earlier statement that he would bring his son to the middle school on the first day of classes.

But the Killorans had a lot of support on Wednesday morning. For Westhampton resident Maureen Crowley Pesce, the issue hits close to home. Her own daughter, Kathleen, also has Down syndrome. She is currently enrolled in the third grade in the district, and Ms. Pesce is concerned for her daughter’s future if she cannot remain in Westhampton.

“In three or four years, she will be in the same situation as this child,” Ms. Pesce explained. “To tell you the truth, I am appalled and startled that this forward-leaning district that is so liberal and spending millions of dollars on laptops and things would send all of their developmentally disabled middle school children out, rather than educate them here.”

Ms. Pesce continued that she fully supports the Killoran family. “If it was my son today, I would walk into the building with him, restraining order or not,” she said. “Some things are worth getting arrested for.”

While everyone at the rally supported the Killoran family, many protesters were also angry with the district.

“I think it is a sign of arrogance as well as fear,” Diane DeMaio of Westhampton said. “I think it is an arrogant position the School Board is taking in not allowing Aiden to be educated here with his friends.”

David Assalti of Remsenburg agreed, saying that students with Down syndrome deserve to be a part of their community’s schools. “Society is going to alienate these kids enough,” he said. “Allow them to experience real life.”

In the meantime, Mr. Killoran said the court case over Aiden’s education will move forward, and the family will continue its battle to have Aiden attend Westhampton Beach schools with his friends. For now, Mr. Killoran said, Aiden will reenter the sixth grade at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School, where his brother Christian will begin the sixth grade on Tuesday, until the case plays out.

“I want to thank Remsenburg for stepping up and agreeing to educate him,” Mr. Killoran said. “It at least keeps him in the community, which is the second-best alternative.”

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Are you kidding me? The last I knew, every child is entitled to an education and as a public school, they must provide that education. They should have seen this coming and been ready with a special ed teacher for the child. Maybe the laws have changed, but it's not right.
By sueg (10), Bridgehampton on Aug 28, 15 4:28 PM
The Westhampton Beach School District is acting reprehensibly. They should be ashamed if themselves. I hope that all the students refuse to enter their classrooms until Aiden is allowed in.

By HB90 (163), southampton on Aug 28, 15 5:10 PM
Aiden is entitled to an education and has one available to him in another school district that already has all the wonderful plans set in place for him with great teachers. But his parents are choosing to make scene with Aiden front and center and he will be the one on the loosing end. He can be placed in a wonderful program at Eastport South Manor where he can make friends that are on his level and would thrive. It's a shame that Aiden parents are putting him front and center in this sad situation.
By whp (21), East Quogue on Aug 28, 15 5:12 PM
I couldn't agree more WHP. What many fail to realize is this is an ongoing and extremely complex issue that goes far beyond the "think of the children" sentiments that tend to expressed when articles like this are printed. We see one side of the situation because the school is limited in what it is able to confirm or deny in the interest of privacy and that seems to be continually viewed by those in favor of Aiden attending WHB as some sort of conspiracy on the part of the school system to keep ...more
By OriginOfLove (3), Remsenburg on Aug 28, 15 5:48 PM
5 members liked this comment
I am certain that you do not have a special needs child. That being said I'm sure your child will not be turned away on September or any other day. That being said I'm am also sure you could not even begin to understand what the Killorans are going through. Do you really think that this is what they wanted to do? Yes EMS has a wonderful program however it might as well be in China I don't believe anyone or student knows him. Hmmmm! I am also assuming you do not attend any NY State informational ...more
By 2015 (8), burg on Aug 28, 15 6:55 PM
Look 2015 I'm not looking to get into an internet feud. You have literally no idea who I am but because I have a differing opinion I'm clearly an uninformed moron.

I'm afraid you'll have to take it on faith that I'm extremely well aware of the special education programs out here and their efficacy. But, again since we don't share the same opinion on them I'm clearly an idiot as far as you're concerned so its frankly pointless for us to even pursue a conversation.

This kind of ...more
By OriginOfLove (3), Remsenburg on Aug 28, 15 7:14 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Michael Tessitore (74), East Quogue, New York on Aug 29, 15 4:46 PM
"where he can make friends that are on his level"??? What century are you in? The child already has 6 years of friends and he wants to be educated with them. It serves no one for WHB to segregate children with special needs.
By IanWilder (1), on Aug 30, 15 6:20 PM
I know what century I live in, as for you, I am not sure if you are in the real world. I have multiple friends who have had their children in the regular school system and who have their children now in a specialized class suited to their needs and they couldn't be happier with their experience. Their children are doing very well and have many friends that they didn't have before. I chose only to write an opinion after I have spoken to many people who are in the same boat as Aiden's parents. They ...more
By whp (21), East Quogue on Aug 31, 15 2:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
I could not agree with you more. Same thing is happening to us. All the kids with special needs are being bussed from their neighborhood school to a school in a bad neighborhood across town. We are fighting it but everyone is telling me to sit down and shut up. I can't. I do not know how to stop advocating for my daughter.
By JulieBorkowski (2), on Sep 2, 15 1:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
WHP, it does not matter if other children love the program. That is no reason to force this family there, and you are asking them to disregard his individual needs in order to conform to his group needs. That is a big no no in special education law. It is an IEP. Individualized Education Plan. Not a Group Education Plan where all the students go because they love it there.
By JulieBorkowski (2), on Sep 2, 15 1:22 AM
2 members liked this comment
YOU are ILL INFORMED. IT is the LAW Aiden WILL be attending the Westhampton Middle School. SHAME ON YOU, YOU ARE AN IGNORANT DISGRACE.
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Sep 2, 15 6:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with whp. I understand the parents frustration but the other school is the most equipped to handle this child. And creating a scene at the middle school is not the right thing to do.
By GoldenBoy (346), EastEnd on Aug 28, 15 5:43 PM
I am assuming you do not have a special needs child therefore unaware of the total picture including the long term plan for this kid. Sorry your feeling a little uncomfortable......
By 2015 (8), burg on Aug 28, 15 6:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
This absolutely sickens me. Every child has the right to an education and it's deplorable that Westhampton Beach is turning Aiden away.
By cush870 (31), Westhampton Beach on Aug 28, 15 6:36 PM
3 members liked this comment
No one is denying Aiden an education. There are apparently 3 schools that he is being given a choice of but his parents instead continue to insist he goes to a school that does not have facilities or a program to meet his needs. Sounds like his parents are so entrenched in their sense of entitlement they don't care what might be best for there child.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 29, 15 2:03 PM
This is what I'm talking about. Neither the school nor the town at large is saying anything of the sort about Aiden not fitting some imaginary criteria. They're saying and have been saying they do not have the means or ability to provide what he needs right now.

I'd venture that 90% of the parents at WHB have absolutely no idea this is even going on. Making these patently absurd statements that the school and the entire town are out to get this poor kid does nothing but turn this already ...more
By OriginOfLove (3), Remsenburg on Aug 28, 15 6:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
By LI native (127), east moriches on Aug 31, 15 5:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
On the contrary I think the community is behind the inclusion of our entire community or at least giving them the choice to attend along with their friends and siblings so why do they take every special education family to litigation to keep they out of the district? Great comment, good question why do you think WHB does not have the "means" or better yet are you suggestion on a public forum that WHB does not have the "ability" to educate a boy with Down Syndrome ? That's embarrassing. There are ...more
By 2015 (8), burg on Aug 28, 15 7:13 PM
The facts of this situation are that WHB school district outsources so many Special Ed students that they could easily save large amounts of tax-payer dollars by creating an appropriate setting for Aiden AND all the other similar need students they refuse to allow in. The fact that they don't is appalling. WHB has had months to hear Aiden's families case and they refused to even listen. Aiden's parents are hero's. They are standing up for what is right not just for Aiden but for all of the other ...more
By a_walker (1), Southampton on Aug 28, 15 8:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
the school board needs to be replaced, they should be ashamed of themselves
By wh (3), southampton on Aug 28, 15 10:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
Aidan and his family are being bullied. Is this how a community treats a loving family that only wants to have their child be able to attend school with his peers. The school board was hired by the community. people need to stand up and tell the school board that this is wrong.
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Aug 28, 15 10:42 PM
The Killorans are wonderful parents fighting for their son's legal right to attend public school in his own community. The law is on their side. The ADA assures that. They are also legally responsible to present Aiden to school on Wednesday just as any other parent is. To keep him home would create cause for CPS to investigate for educational neglect. His home district, Remsenburg, has recommended WHB as a suitable educational setting for Aiden with a few reasonable accommodations. For the BOE and ...more
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 29, 15 7:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
So, I assume all of the children not attending their home schools are also entitled to, if Aiden does? Do you have any clue how different these programs are from mainstream classrooms?
By Miss K. (100), East Quogue on Sep 1, 15 6:22 PM
It's unfortunate that there are some who still harbor antiquated views regarding the integration of special needs students within their respective home communities. Modern educational theory has actually settled the issue long ago and the premise of educating a student within his or her own community is codified in all "best practices" acts, as well as within the Special Education Part 200 regulations. Of course, Aiden's right to choose is also protested by his federal and state constitutional "equal ...more
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 8:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
Not true! These programs such as Bellport Academic Center, Jefferson Academic Centers, etc etc have children from ALL districts attending. Many of the school districts do not offer these specialized programs. What are the details of the program they are recommending for Aiden? And why would you think it's so bad for him if it's a specialized program just for certain children that need it?
By Miss K. (100), East Quogue on Sep 1, 15 6:25 PM
Aiden is my nephew and is the most loving and cared for child in All the world
He is amazing and kind and inquisitive to beyond his reality

Most of all Aiden is a child of God and and whom ever turns away a lamb of God
Will only tarnish themselves and their reputations as a teaching facility for the future of our children

Don't let the jurisdiction of any school district be a nomilly in determining whom they educate by their rules of their prestigious school board ...more
By VickieMet (1), on Aug 29, 15 8:48 AM
2 members liked this comment
This issue is much bigger than the education of Aiden. What about all of the children with Down's Syndrome who are presently attending school in WHB elementary, or Quogue school, or East Quogue? They all have a right to attend school in their home district. Isn't it about time that WHB provide a program that can accommodate all children?
By JJJ (2), Westhampton on Aug 29, 15 9:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
Inclusion out at WHB. Sorting and selecting in. Will the administration know consider bussing out their gifted and talented kids too? Chapter 740 of the Laws of 1982 defines gifted pupils as "pupils who show evidence of high performances capability and exceptional potential in area such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. Such definition shall include those pupils who require educational programs or services beyond those ...more
By treehugger (10), whb on Aug 29, 15 10:58 AM
2 members liked this comment
I can't believe that WHB is still not educating all of their students. This student has friends and peers since kindergarten and now suddenly has to start all over. Middle school is a tough time for all children and most people would not choose to move. Essentially this district is choosing to make its children move at a very difficult time. Obviously, the community wants him to be educated at home why does the school get to make this choice? The taxpayers have spoken and they deserve to be heard!
By kcors (1), ronkonkoma on Aug 29, 15 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
It is hard to think of a case less appropriate to be tried in the court of public opinion than this one. Let the medical and educational experts decide where the best program exists for this student and keep the emotions out of the equation.
By VOS (1224), WHB on Aug 29, 15 12:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
With that attitude children with disabilities would still be living in institutions.
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Aug 29, 15 12:28 PM
Re-read VOS's comment again, madame -- he was speaking directly to you and others with your less-than-rational mindset.
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Aug 29, 15 12:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
In what capacity is your employment with the school. My personal experience with this district dates back to 2007. The Long Island Press May 7, 2007 Reading, 'riting & Revenge by April Jimenez. Read that and also keep in mind they did it to my family again in 2010, I am reading his and your post and have to realize you have not had experience with this big business called a school. And that my friend is what it is a business that lost sight of children.
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Sep 2, 15 12:05 PM
I have no relationship with either this school district or my own, so you can cease attempting to undermine rational and factual arguments with irrelevant and misleading speculation.

I understand parents' consuming desire to obtain the best education possible for their child. What I don't understand is why they are using their special needs son in this manner -- I think it's disgraceful, and certainly not in the best interests of their son!
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Sep 2, 15 2:54 PM
3 members liked this comment
The article at first blush seems horrible. The WHB district has an alternative which is Boces. There is no law that says every child has to be educated in the mainstream. If their is a special needs child is it fair to the other students to be in a special needs class. Is it fair for Aidan to be in a regular class? We aren't all created equal, but we all have our special gifts. This is a tough situation, but we need to look at tealities not political correctness.
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 29, 15 2:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why would the Killoran's disrupt everyone's first day of school as well as their child's to make a point? How long have they known of Aidan's needs? Why don't they place him in one of the alternative schools while trying to win their fight so their son doesn't feel even more "out of place". I, as a parent do not and will not stand for my child's education being disrupted by a disgruntled parent. The school district is not saying that they won't speak to the Killoran's they are saying because he's ...more
By beachbme11978 (78), Westhampton Beach on Aug 29, 15 6:14 PM
3 members liked this comment
Chief1, actually there is a law...IDEA as well as the ADA both apply and support Aiden in his request to continue his education with his mainstream peers, as he has for the past 7 years. Beachbme11978, you may not be aware but the Killorans have been communicating with WHB for 2.5 years on this very matter so they would be well prepared for Aiden. WHB BOE refused to engage in those preparations instead defaulting to their antiquated policy which amounts to blatant systematic discrimination of special ...more
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 29, 15 8:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 10:09 PM
As far as I know, I've done everything I need to do in order to have Aiden attend. WHB simply will not accept him, despite the law and the despite his IEP, which states: Aiden's education should be fulfilled at WHB (not my words everyone, but the words of the CSE, which is the entity endowed with responsibility to tender a recommendation because they are most attuned to Aiden's circumstance). Do you people who have tendered adversarial comments really think that Aiden's needs cannot be met locally? ...more
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 10:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Is one school district required by law to provide services specified by an outside district? If you moved to the WHB district, they may legally be required to follow his IEP (but I'm not positive). Have you considered renting out your home for a few years and moving to WHB?
By lamm (304), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 11:41 PM
Many people seem to be missing an important point. Westhampton is NOT required to educate this student because he does NOT live in the Westhampton school district. It is the responsibility of the Remsenburg school district to provide an education for this child, and since they don’t have a middle school, Remsenburg must find a district willing to provide this child's education and pay for it with Remsenburg taxpayer $, same with Quogue & East Quogue students with similar issues. WH has ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 11:27 PM
3 members liked this comment
We shouldn't leave out the fact that the "special needs" rate is fixed, whether the child receives speech services or has a more severe learning disability. It's all about $.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 11:35 PM
It would be interesting to hear the point of view that this young man's peers hold.

Maybe they need to read Madison Kimrey's handbook. I think it would be very interesting to hear the young people speak...
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Aug 29, 15 11:31 PM
Sorry, but no school should ever take out a restraining order against a child. Period. The details are irrelevant.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Aug 30, 15 7:33 AM
2 members liked this comment
The details are important, they don't want a show on the first day of school. I'm not sure they'll get a TRO, there is no imminent danger. It never should have come to this. The WHB school district should be merged with the sending small districts and should educate all students in house.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Aug 30, 15 8:31 AM
The school is not seeking a restraining order against a child seeking an education. They are seeking a restraining order against adults who are on the record stating they will disrupt the first day of school.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 30, 15 10:01 AM
3 members liked this comment
"In a letter to the editor... Westhampton Beach Board of Education member Suzanne Mensch stated that she has become “extremely disheartened by the Killoran family’s repeated public efforts to bully the Westhampton Beach School District into developing an educational program for their son … ” The Westhampton Beach district, she explained, only offers such programming at its elementary school."
Sounds to me that Westhampton Beach School District should be more disheartened ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Aug 30, 15 7:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mrs Mensch is correct in one respect there is a little bullying going on.
I don't know what the answer is, but if Westhampton is forced to educate this child it could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Guess who will pay for this? Where is Remsenburg to step up, and pay for the huge shortfall? The Remsenburg district let this go on for years, and now they put it in the lap of WHB, and said good luck it's your problem. I think Remsenburg, and their exclusive little clicky school better ...more
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 30, 15 11:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Clicky little school"
Chief, in poker terms that's called a tell. I see you.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Aug 30, 15 2:27 PM
You see me? Your a joker if you think you see me. I haven't lived in Southampton or Westhampton in a decade. But that's okay Einstein.
Our public schools are not equipped to help anyone except the kids that are super intelligent. Anyone that is below average is in real trouble in the public school system. WHB has it easy, because they have a wealthy white demographic, which makes it easier for teachers. Aidan has special needs, and that incurs extra work, which public schools are not interested ...more
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 30, 15 9:16 PM
No, genius. I see your jealousy. "Clicky little school."
It's a small town. It's a small school. That doesn't make it a clique, it makes it what it is - a small town school.
To the rest of your post, I don't know what Westhampton can handle or not. They stated that they don't have a special education program beyond elementary. That's surprising and probably not going to hold up well in the court of public opinion. Seems like Remsenburg accepted Aiden and Westhampton did not. So much for ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Aug 30, 15 11:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
What does the school districts of Hampton Bays, Center Moriches, Eastport Manor, Sayville, Mt Sinai, and Miller Place have in common? I think I am right in that all these school districts do the “right” thing. By that I mean, they have programs to educate ALL of their students. Each of these school districts follows the educational principle that it is best, when possible, to educate their own students in their own environment. This idea that a student should be educated in his or her ...more
By jkilloran (1), Southampton on Aug 30, 15 12:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
While I am not sure about Center Moriches, Eastport Manor, Sayville, Mt Sinai, or Miller Place, I can tell you about Hampton Bays. The school district is taxing people right out of their homes.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 10:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
That has to do with illegals.
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Sep 2, 15 12:46 PM
Actually, Chief1, ironically the foiled special ed census from WHB, RSE and EQ revealed iWHB is causing 4+million to be spent annually to outsource 43 of our local children. Can you imagine how much we could save keeping them local? The busing alone is over $150/day per child. Absurd and so wrong on so many levels. And you are right about the Killorans. Not only are they wonderful loving parents to Aiden, they are paving the way for so many other children to come through this process. They deserve ...more
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 30, 15 12:34 PM
The question is, how much is WESTHAMPTON spending annually? They don't care about what they're causing other districts to spend. There's a finite $ amount they'll get from your district. You should all be pushing for a merger so you have a say in the politics of WHB. It's basically taxation without representation, in a roundabout sort of way, and no change will ever be enacted on behalf of feeder schools.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 1, 15 11:02 PM
$4+ million on 43 children-that is around $100,000 per child. WHB should be building there own program.
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Aug 30, 15 1:25 PM
There is a contract between Remsenburg and WHB. Anyone can look at it. It states WHB has to educate ALL of Remsenburg's students. That is why Remaenburg residents pay WHB tuition. This is a contractual breach, in addition. to a violation of Aiden's equal protection rights. WHB cannot pick & choose. Nevertheless, if you do the math and account for "future economies of scale" educating your own populace also makes sound fiscal sense. The denial represents a decision based upon administrative expedience ...more
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 30, 15 4:32 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 30, 15 4:32 PM
On the eve of the "limited" purview of the Court tomorrow, I want to forecast the District's next despicable course of action - contacting CPS and alleging child neglect. I will tell you now that the depths of depravity know no bounds. Mark my words. This is their MO that has enabled them to perpetuate this atrocity.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Aug 30, 15 8:25 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By BobKemins, on Aug 30, 15 9:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lost in all of this is the question of what is the right thing to do. The school district seems 100% focused on keeping Aiden out. This after telling parents of kids with special needs to "be patient" at a board meeting last Spring. When I asked what we are being patient for, I only heard crickets chirping. The long and short of it being WHB school doesn't seem interested in considering educating kids with special needs in house. Those who accept that may want to do some deep thinking on their ...more
By Craigcat (255), Speonk on Aug 31, 15 8:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well CCat, littleones and SGiant, since you all seem to be so adamant about your positions, why don't you get together with a school board member who may have some sympathy for your demands and put together an actual, factual budget which shows the real start-up and continuing costs of WHBSD putting in place the special needs programs you demand they institute. Having some actual facts to cite will bolster your argument far more than the bombastic, unsubstantiated rhetoric you have posted above. ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 2:02 PM
Mr. Radday, the Superintendent of WHB made $213,343 in 2013 (the most recent published $). Let's hope he can figure it out. That's why he makes the big bucks. I'm pretty sure he can get a 1:1 for Aiden and a Special Ed consult for less than 4 million a year. Let's start there.
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 31, 15 4:20 PM
You are the one interested in changing the status quo, not Mr Radday. Therefore it falls upon you to convince others to join your cause. I suggested one course of action you might take as the one you are on will likely win you no new allies and instead just cause people to dig their heels in deeper. You and the others asking for the change have made many unsubstantiated charges and claims. Backing them up with some verified and verifiable facts would help your cause.

Mr Radday's salary ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 5:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have all of the foiled stats in my possession. Do you? They were not easy to come by. The districts put up quite a fuss over it. But now the truth is told and we can all move on.
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 31, 15 6:34 PM
I do not so perhaps you could post the relevant information along with the source. Of specific interest would be:
1. The current cost per year per "outsourced" student. This appears to be $93K per year if the numbers given above are correct.
2. The overall cost to start up a special needs program that covers all the various categories of special needs students in question or the cost per student should it be itemized that way. We would assume this would be a one time cost.
3. The actual ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 10:02 PM
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I hope this works out for the Killian family. WHB had the means to have a program and not segregate this boy from his siblings and childhood friends. A new environment in which this boy knows no one could a disaster. This boy could shutdown. Why doesn't WHB have the programs in place? Why do they "ship" these special needs children out. This is complete BS.
GL Kill oran
By dinok (2), woodbury on Aug 31, 15 12:36 PM
The Killorans are a wonderful family. They are involved in their community and are exceptional parents. I don't believe that anyone was saying that the other programs offered were not good programs. Or not good enough for Aiden. This is about where a child will do BEST...where he will thrive...where other children will know him and encourage him...where he will be able to be among those who he has always known. Isn't middle school scary enough without loosing an entire group of peers you have known ...more
By OceanCalm (1), Quogue on Aug 31, 15 2:49 PM
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"I don't believe that anyone was saying that the other programs offered were not good programs. Or not good enough for Aiden"

And yet you insist on putting Aiden into a school with NO program.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 5:34 PM
Why should he be required to change schools? Change his world? WHB should adapt. By law, they are required to do so. It may not be the convenient thing to do but it is the right thing to do.

For those that say they have a nice little program all set up two towns over... Is that what you would want for your son/daughter? I don't think so... You would fight for your child's right to an education in their town, with their friends... Nothing more, nothing less... WHB should be fighting ...more
By localgirl (17), southampton on Aug 31, 15 5:23 PM
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"Why should he be required to change schools?" - Have you read anything above? Aiden is changing schools. That is what this whole discussion is about.

"By law, they are required to do so." - Don't regurgitate other people's nonsense. If you want to offer such information please cite a verifiable and legitimate source.

"WHB should be fighting to keep him, not let him go" - WHB never had him. He is a student in Remsenburg. Once again, don't regurgitate other people's nonsense.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 5:45 PM
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Yes, bird... I have read everything and I've also worked in schools with children with needs that Aiden has and even more challenging. WHB is big enough and by 2015 should have a program in place to educate students like Aiden.

And yes, by law they are required to educate all children in their district including those that feed into their district..
that is what Remsenburg is.. They pay tuition so their students can go to WHB..

You are the one talking nonsense. stop ...more
By localgirl (17), southampton on Sep 2, 15 12:01 PM
localgirl - "WHB is big enough and by 2015 should have a program in place to educate students like Aiden." - This may be your opinion but it is not the opinion of the people elected to run the WBSD.

"And yes, by law they are required to educate all children in their district" - Aiden is not being denied an education. His parents have been offered 3 options and have decided they want an option that isn't offered. The school appears to have held up it's end of bargain. It is Aiden's parents ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Sep 2, 15 8:40 PM
Maybe the board is WRONG.... and you, bird, are just providing your opinion as well... you have provided no "verifiable facts" either... Do you have children? Did they go to public school? How would you feel if your kid was not allowed to go to the school that all his/her other friends are going because he/she already has challenges? hmmm.. I bet you would be right where Aiden's parents are trying to get him the best education in his/her home town.. because... that's what you do for your ...more
By localgirl (17), southampton on Sep 3, 15 12:19 AM
localgirl - Maybe the board is wrong. They are however the duly elected board and as such must be assumed to be fulfilling the desires of the people who elected them. If you don't like what they are doing, get a new board elected.

I think the only opinion I have offered is on how to change people's minds on the subject at hand. I have offered no facts on the subject.

Yes I do have kids and yes they went to public school in the SHSD. One struggled, one thrived and both have grown ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Sep 3, 15 8:56 AM
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You are ridiculous. I'm glad your kids turned out fine. My point was you fight for what your kids need. You don't just sit there and do what people want you until there is no others choice. At least I do not. And Everything you have said is your opinion. I did not demonize any program. I just think that the children should go to school with their friends and that a student should not change because a school district as large as WHB does not have a program to teach ALL of their children especially ...more
By localgirl (17), southampton on Sep 4, 15 7:41 AM
First off proximity has nothing to do with it Eastport is about same distance, second Eastport is a feeder school for Remsenburg, third the family knew from the beginning that he would not be able to go to westhampton. It's a situation where people feel that the world should cater to each of there individual needs. As a parent I would hope I put what is best for my kids ahead of what is best for me. There is no question that Eastport would benefit him way more then westhampton it's comical people ...more
By Remsen (68), Southampton on Aug 31, 15 5:44 PM
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98% of Remsenburg graduates go to Westhampton. Moreover, the ADA requires those with special needs must receive the same treatment. The 2% who chose ESM had a CHOICE. And so should Aiden along with the other 43 children they AUTOMATICALLY boot. To do so WHB systematically discriminating. They dont care who it it...they get booted if they are alternately assessed...to the tune of $4 million tax dollars a year. Are you really still ok with that?
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 31, 15 8:38 PM
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Bird who said he is being asked to change schools? He goes to Remsenburg from there you can goto westhampton or Eastport, westhampton doesn't have a program and Eastport does. kids go to Eastport with special needs because it has a great program, westhampton has none.
By Remsen (68), Southampton on Aug 31, 15 6:43 PM
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The comment comes from the post by "localgirl" above mine.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 15 10:26 PM
My question is this. Why can't Aiden go and try the program at Eastport while you are letting this play outin the courts? Have his parents looked into yet? Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised that he may like the program. He may enjoy being with other kids that are in the program, as opposed to being mostly by himself with aids as his company in Westhampton.
By whp (21), East Quogue on Aug 31, 15 6:52 PM
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He won't be by himself in WHB. He will be with the same 25+ kids or so and some new ones that he went to Remsenburg Elementary school with. When you come from a tiny school like that you them...they know you. You are not the kid with Downs...you are Aiden. To ship out to ESM might be fine. I am sure they have a nice program, but it defeats one of him main educational goals in his IEP...getting to know and navigate the community that he will be in for the rest of his life. His safety and security ...more
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 31, 15 7:57 PM
Bird, I typically do not engage in online debate or arguing. However, This subject is close to my heart as I have a 3rd grader on the autism spectrum. At this time, the trajectory is my son also being outsourced when the time comes. I'd be more than happy to create a dialogue with WHBSD and I'm not alone. I don't see any indication that they want to work towards integration. That troubles me. We can talk about the economics, logistics, or whatever else pertains to the topic. WHBSD accepts tuition ...more
By Craigcat (255), Speonk on Aug 31, 15 11:15 PM
Craig, perhaps it's time to push Remsenburg to not sign another contract with WHB unless children who are autistic or down's are accepted and accommodated. Instead of forcing WHB to think about what it saves by not educating these children, let them think about what they lose if they don't. It's not entirely unreasonable to send ALL future REM children to ESM, is it? Westhampton has gotten away with running the show for sending districts for far too long.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 10:17 PM
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CCat - While I have not walked in your shoes I do have friends who have and are. I get it that for you this is an issue with great emotions attached and I have no envy of the struggles you must go thru. As I can think of no softer way to put this I will just be blunt. The emotional desires of a few do not present a requirement for the majority to change. For change you need to build consensus and vilifying the school will not accomplish your goal. The school district is not doing anything evil or ...more
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Sep 3, 15 8:08 AM
I think it's a misconception that this issue suddenly popped up. It's been going on for 3+ years with the Killorans. I think WHBSD employs the run out the clock tactic. I certainly understand the counter arguments re. This issue. I also fully admit that I can't possibly take the emotion out of it. However, this is the age of acceptance and inclusion. I truly believe that WHBSD is woefully behind the times with their approach. A member of the board asked for patience, but when pressed would not respond ...more
By Craigcat (255), Speonk on Sep 3, 15 10:56 AM
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CCat - I too appreciate the dialogue. It is good that it happens here so that some of the more thoughtful people following might choose to better educate themselves to the issue at hand, whichever way it sways them. Perhaps your thoughtful responses have provided some small spark to ignite the change you seek. Good luck to you and your family.
By bird (817), Sag Harbor on Sep 3, 15 12:32 PM
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Good choice, WHB. If you insist on teaching Common Core so that children will presumably possess a better ability to arrive at creative solutions to difficult problems....you should set an good example of doing just that.
Sep 1, 15 12:43 PM appended by KevinLuss
''a good example''.....
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 1, 15 12:43 PM
Not the time or the place.
By GoldenBoy (346), EastEnd on Sep 2, 15 11:47 AM
If you're illegal, speak zero English, and pay no taxes you are invited to public school. What are we doing in this country?
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Sep 2, 15 1:10 PM
we bailed out banks and big corporations...that was good, no?
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Sep 2, 15 1:28 PM
Privatize profit, socialize the losses.
Sep 2, 15 11:10 PM appended by Mr. Z
"Lemon Socialism"
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Sep 2, 15 11:10 PM
Pretentious individuals have a delusional sense of entitlement. They want what they want and they want it now. Never mind the fact that these parents did not properly plan for their sons transfer into middle school in a timely manner. Steps to implement a program for their son should have been taken years ago. Bad planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on WHB’s part. Their campaign of bullying, threatening and insulting school board members is disgraceful. These parents are ...more
By BeFrank (4), westhampton on Sep 2, 15 1:17 PM
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Incorrect. The Killorans have been working on this since Aiden was in 3rd grade. Your bad planning argument isn't valid. Your Ben Frankin quote should be applied to the WHBSD. If you equate taking action to have children with special needs to be with their families and friends as disgraceful, then I think you've already lost the argument.
By Craigcat (255), Speonk on Sep 2, 15 2:02 PM
Reading 'riting and revenge by April Jimenez long island press May 2007 read that before you judge these parents. Read this before you judge these parent. The line of parents and students that have been intimidated by this district is long. That article is about my family. I am glad that this family is standing up for what is right. The sickening part is that there should have been a whole community showing at the school today. The truth is until it is you or your family member on the receiving ...more
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Sep 2, 15 2:46 PM
Though the situation is sad for the child and those close to the family will naturally have biased opinions. There are local programs available. But in fact, as far as WHB knows, this is a new venture and the family is unreasonably demanding immediate action. It’s been said, the parents had inauspiciously arranged with their child’s elementary school to allow their son to remain in the 6th grade until a middle school program was implemented. They changed their minds and chose to fight ...more
By BeFrank (4), westhampton on Sep 2, 15 3:31 PM
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By LI native (127), funky on Sep 2, 15 3:37 PM
Not true. Actually WHB was contacted over 2 years ago in order to begin the transition.
By 2015 (8), burg on Sep 2, 15 8:43 PM
Westhampton Beach is NOT upholding the LAW! ALL Specail Education children must be schooled in the LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT, which is NOY BOCES"………………….This wonderful family will win BIG in COURT! I hope they SUE and gain not only entree to his appropriate LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT, but that Westhampton and their LAWLESS BOARD of Education are fined a significant amount of money. SHAME ON THEM…………….
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Sep 2, 15 6:02 PM
No, Aiden's parents will not win in court for one simple reason. They don't live in the WHB school district. You can't force a school district that you don't live in to provide anything at all for your child. If the child's IEP said that the least restrictive environment was in Smithtown, the Smithtown school district would not be required to educate him either. REMSENBURG is required to find an appropriate education for Aiden. There are contracts in place between Remsenburg and WHB. My guess ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 9:42 PM
Upon illumination, WHB's position grows in its ridiculousness. Due to the fact that a special class can accommodate special needs students within a three year chronological age span, WHB would only need to create two classes. One for ages 7-9 and two for ages 10-12. That is all - two classes. But no, WHB chooses to spend the taxpayers money and outsource students to their detriment for millions of dollars. Wake up tax payers, WHB's position is simply for administrative expedience at the taxpayers ...more
By 2015 (8), burg on Sep 2, 15 8:26 PM
Still waiting for a single, just 1, adversarial position to be tendered by someone who actually has a special needs child or whose child was turned away by their own school district. Is there anyone? Just one?
By 2015 (8), burg on Sep 2, 15 8:30 PM
This child was not turned away by his own district, he was turned away by another district. SEPTA and the parents knew years ago that WHB doesn't accommodate children with more severe special needs, and knew that the children would be split up if they chose to remain in Remsenburg. To think otherwise, based upon the experiences of other families, would just be hiding from the reality of the situation. WHB is only concerned with $ and test scores (and collecting tuition from districts like REM ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 10:06 PM
So that gives you the right to disrupt every other child's first day of school? I understand you people are upset but settle in a courtroom. The parade outside the school imo was way over the top.
By GoldenBoy (346), EastEnd on Sep 2, 15 9:11 PM
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A court will never hear the case because the Killoran's don't live in the WHB school district. Remsenburg should not sign another contract with WHB again and send ALL future students to ESM. Families shouldn't be split up in school, and even though Aiden's family will probably not win this battle, it's up to Remsenburg to protect future Remsenburg families with special needs children.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 9:51 PM
Perhaps when WHB is faced with losing ALL Remsenburg tuition, they'll realize that educating kids like Aidan is to their benefit.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 10:20 PM
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WHB will never lose Remsenburg tuition-Remsenburg residents have zero interest in having their children attend ESM. Westhampton knows this.
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Sep 2, 15 10:45 PM
These issues will continue until the small feeder districts grow a pair...I'm in Tuckahoe, we face issues being a feeder district (not the same though, Southampton educates kids with Downs)...but yes, Southampton and Westhamton know they hold the cards because other options aren't wanted by parents of feeder districts.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 8:02 AM
Lamm you're nuts, because WHB is the top east end school. No one is leaving WHB. Your problem is you want a .merger with Southampton so your taxes get cut in half. Joker
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Sep 3, 15 8:14 AM
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Apparently all problems can be solved with school mergers, LOL
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 8:51 AM
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Hello Chief and April, two people who think the feeder district situation is fine because it keeps their taxes low. What I was saying is that the problem cannot even be addressed because they don't live in Westhampton. Southampton actually does a decent job with special needs kids. Chief, while I still think a merger is best, it is no longer my problem.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 5, 15 9:21 PM
It’s quite simple. Student graduates of Remsenburg elementary have the option to attend middle school in either the Westhampton school district or Eastport South Manor school district. Between the two, a completely suitable program is available. The inexcusably squeaky wheel should never get the grease when an appropriate replacement is right there. The sleepy giant should go back to bed and utilize what his local public school system has already implemented for his child. Get over it.
By BeFrank (4), westhampton on Sep 3, 15 10:21 AM
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The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. If Remsenburg offers the choice of schools for it's typical students, it must do the same for its disabled students. The contracts between Remsenburg and WHB create legal standing and WHB doesn't have a chance at winning this one. Their position is morally, fiscally and legally unsound.
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Sep 3, 15 11:05 AM
That's NOT the law, only your self-serving interpretation of it. however far this gets in the legal system, WHB BoE will prevail because their actions, however unpopular with the masses, are legally sound.

Until then, Sleeping Giant will continue to grab headlines.
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Sep 3, 15 11:49 AM
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Perhaps, Frank. But that would be a victory for the status quo and WHBSD would continue to shut out kids with special needs. That's a pretty hollow victory IMO. Legally right? We shall see. Morally right? I don't think so. So it's a battle worth fighting and history has proven that good things can come out of adversity.
By Craigcat (255), Speonk on Sep 3, 15 1:08 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Sep 6, 15 9:57 AM
Lamm - yes there is a contract. In fact, Remsenburg residents pay tuition pursuant to it. Do you want to know what the contract says? You can FOIL it if you want. It says WHB shall educate ALL of Rwmsenburg's students for post-elementary education.
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 12:51 PM
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Under the law, a child has the right to the most appropriate, LEAST RESTRICTIVE individualized education. Not only do special needs children benefit from being mainstreamed as much as possible, but other children benefit from the opportunity to interact with them as well.

Life is not fair but education needs to be.
By InnerBay (71), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 9:01 PM
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Lamm move out of Tuckahoe if you dont like the arrangement with Southampton. Why would Remsenburg ever leave WHB it is one of the top schools on the east end. Maybe you should move there?
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Sep 4, 15 7:22 AM
WHB is an excellent school. Tuckahoe had an agreement and sent more and more kids there every year, until your district shut it down in order to keep your taxes ridiculously low. Oh well, not my problem anymore.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 5, 15 9:29 PM
It seems The Sleeping Giant reached out to his media friends at the Al Jazeera Network to help promote his cause.
Way to go working with an association that promotes the Muslim Brotherhood.
By BeFrank (4), westhampton on Sep 4, 15 3:51 PM
This is as close to child abuse as I have seen.I have no doubt the parents want the best for their child,but he should not exposed to this public spectacle driving past people with banner and cheering,is he able to process what this all about,there must be a better way.
By watchdog1 (541), Southampton on Sep 5, 15 5:42 AM
When parents wanted approval for the football turf and auditorium they put their kids out there saying how they needed these things. Yet when it comes to receiving an education in home district you labeled these parents with child abuse You are way out of line.
By Mary216 (24), Clemmons on Sep 5, 15 10:35 AM
I've read all the blogs. What people should realize is one Remsenburg is obligated to pay for his education this is not an issue,and two
Remsenburg students have the option of going to either ESM or Westhampton most choose WHB. One district provides the services he needs ESM and one doe not. Although WHB looks bad in that they do not provide that level of in house special ed after grade school it is not a policy created to specifically exclude Aiden. All of WHB students that are special ed ...more
By maxwell (169), speonk on Sep 5, 15 11:30 AM
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How is it an "option" if you don't have a choice?
By Sleeping Giant (20), Southampton on Sep 5, 15 11:42 AM
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Then it's Remsenburg's responsibility to explore other options, that being other school districts that can provide the needed services, not WHB Since Aiden lives in Remsenburg not WHB
By maxwell (169), speonk on Sep 5, 15 1:10 PM
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