NY Daily News
Christopher Kirby, a lawyer for the East Ramapo School District in New York state, has just become an Internet sensation in the worst possible way.
During the comment period at the tail end of a five-hour school board meeting Tuesday night, parent and education activist Peggy Hatton began speaking about how her son, a special-education student at Spring Valley High School, had failed the science portion of the Regent’s exam by a single point. Kirby, who sat alongside the members of the board, interrupted Hatton’s remarks with an audible laugh.
“Is it funny? I’m sorry. Shame on you,” Hatton said before Kirby stood and exited the meeting.
When the lawyer returned, Hatton was still speaking.
“You’re still smirking at me, please!” Hatton told him.
“Oh would you please shut up, for Christ’s sake,” Kirby, an associate at the Minerva and D’Agostino law firm, said as he lashed out.
At this point, another parent confronted Kirby and demanded that the board kick him out of the meeting. The school board sat quietly, however.
The incident began when parent and education activist Peggy Hatton addressed the board near the conclusion of the five-hour meeting only to be ridiculed by Kirby.
“You should all be ashamed of yourselves, to let him sit there and treat me like that when I am not attacking anybody,” said Hatton. I”’m telling you what a good job the teachers are doing, and you sit there!”
“Still smirking,” Kirby quipped as he left the room.
Antonio Luciano, who co-hosts the radio show “East Ramapo Underground” along with Hatton, was filming the encounter and called Kirby an “a—hole” as the meeting quickly deteriorated and the confrontation spilled into the parking lot.
Amid taunts from the parents, Kirby approached Luciano in a physically threatening manner.
“I’m standing in your way; you gonna do something about it?” Kirby said.
Luciano and at least one other parent continued to film Kirby as he went after several of the activists who attended the meeting.
“Oh would you please shut up, for Christ’s sake,” Kirby told Hatton after she complained that the lawyer was smirking at her.
“Go hide behind your women,” Kirby shouted at Luciano. “What a man, what a tough guy.”
“Where should I meet you?” Luciano countered. “He wants to name the place.”
Hatton, who called police on her cellphone, jumped to Luciano’s defense.
“(Luciano’s) not hiding behind anybody,” Hatton shouted at Kirby. “Who are you hiding behind, your paycheck?”
Kirby then hurled several F-bombs Hatton’s way and topped off his tirade by calling her fat as well using an obscenity for female genetalia.
“Is that how you talk to your wife?” Hatton shot back.
Other parents at the meeting demanded that Kirby be removed from the room.
“If I were married to you? Are you kidding? I’d (expletive) blow my brains out,” Kirby replied.
Board member Yonah Rothman attempted to persuade Kirby to leave the scene, saying the lawyer would regret his behavior in the morning.
Finally, Kirby drove away from the scene. Police later took statements from Hatton and Luciano.
“We are deeply troubled by the events that occurred immediately following the conclusion of our school board meeting last night,” Board of Education President Yehuda Weissmandl said in a statement. “The Board has taken the matter under advisement and will address it at a special session to occur shortly.”
The board will hold a meeting early next week on the matter, the Journal News reported.
“It’s something that we need to get together as a group and discuss and … decide what is the proper course of action,” Weissmandl said.
In a statement, state Sen. David Carlucci called Kirby’s behavior an “inexcusable tirade and verbal attack towards a group of concerned parents and advocates.”
“These actions were reprehensible and uncalled for in their entirety and demonstrate a lack of professional conduct that should never be tolerated,” Carlucci said.