Watch As School Lawyer Tells Parents 'F- You' [Warning: Offensive]

Embattled East Ramapo School District attorney goes on tirade in school parking lot; state senator calls for him to be fired.


An astonishing YouTube video published Tuesday shows Chris Kirby—an attorney with the East Ramapo School District—hurling a salvo of swear-words at parents during a heated back-and-forth in a school parking lot.

At one point in the four-minute video, Kirby tells a woman to "shut up" and comments on her weight—and then utters what many would consider the most offensive word in the English language.

The spat took place Tuesday night, on the heels of a lengthy and polemic school board meeting. Footage from the gathering shows parent Peggy Hatton discussing her son's recent failure of a standardized test by one point.

Her son attends Spring Valley High School and is a special education student, Hatton says.

During the school board footage, Hatton accuses Kirby of "smirking" while she talks.

"Oh, will you please shut up?" Kirby responds.

In the parking lot video, filmed shortly afterward, viewers see Kirby approach Hatton.

"Call the police, call the police!" someone shouts as he approaches.

Kirby then unleashes a string of four-letter words, and challenges a parent to a fight.

"I'm standing in your way—you going to do something about it?" he says.

Kirby then walks back to his idling car, but turns on his heel to once again confront parents.

"Hide behind your women," he says to one man.

You can hear a bystander communicating with police. "There is an incident in the parking lot," the woman shouts into the receiver. "There's going to be a fight—get over here, now."

Later in the video, parents accuse Kirby of "hiding behind his paycheck," and speculate as to whether or not he is drunk.

The East Ramapo School District released a brief statement about the incident shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The statement reads, "We are deeply troubled by the events that occurred immediately following the conclusion of our school board meeting last night. The board has taken the matter under advisement and will address it at a special session."

Later in the day, the East Ramapo Board of Education announced  that it will hold a special meeting 7 p.m. Monday, July 8 in the administration building at 106 South Madison Ave. in Spring Valley to "consider matters lawfully coming before the board." This meeting may include an executive session

Reached Wednesday afternoon, Peggy Hatton said she was shell shocked by the incident. 

"It's just starting to sink in how awful that was," she said.

Hatton said she and other taxpayers are looking at legal avenues. They will sign a police report tomorrow and expect to reach out to the Rockland County District Attorney and New York State Bar Association and will seek legal advice on steps they can take.  She said she sent the videos to the state Education Commissioner and Special Education Department among others. She called upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to come to the district and get involved.

"I'm 53 years old and I have never in my entire life been spoken to in such a derogatory, defamatory way," she said. 

Hatton said as reprehensible as what she experienced was, it is nothing in comparision to what the students in the district have lost.

East Ramapo parents have long complained about the district's poor financial status and allocation of its diminished resources. Its fiscal condition has drawn the attention of the state Education Department.  Officials have called for changes in the state aid formula for East Ramapo which has more students attending private religious schools than its public schools. 

The district's budget for 2013-2014 was initially rejected by voters in May. A reduced budget was passed on the second try. 

Kirby is an attorney at the Minerva and D'Agostino lawfirm in Valley Stream, a receptionist there told Patch.

Senator David Carlucci was swift to weigh in Wednesday, calling for Kirby's firing.

"Last night, Chris Kirby, an attorney representing the East Ramapo School Board, launched an inexcusable tirade and verbal attack towards a group of concerned parents and advocates after a school board meeting in the parking lot," Carlucci said. "These actions were reprehensible and uncalled for in their entirety and demonstrate a lack of professional conduct that should never be tolerated."  

"I believe this warrants swift and appropriate action to ensure that this type of incident never happens again," he added. "Today, I am calling on the school board to immediately terminate Mr. Kirby's contract."  

Kirby's behavior was described as "repulsive" by Suffern Mayor Dagan Lacorte, who is running for county executive.  

"He must apologize and be immediately terminated from further business with the East Ramapo School District," said Lacorte.  Taxpayer-paid lawyers  can not insult the people of our community, no matter what their views.  This conduct is outrageous and unprofessional."

Stay with Patch as this story develops.

This story was written and reported by Ryan Buncher, Robin Traum and Kevin Zawacki.
Andromachos July 04, 2013 at 08:30 AM
Yes, rude and unprofessional, but that is not (yet) a crime in this State.
Robert Ward Kurkela July 04, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Speaking of district lawyers, Clarkstown's own district counsel's contract expired June 30, 2013. Please read this from 1 year ago about this:
Robert Ward Kurkela July 04, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Robert Ward Kurkela July 04, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day July 04, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Statement issued July 3rd: The actions of Chris Kirby, a contracted representative of the East Ramapo School District, in viciously cursing and verbally abusing parents, students, and taxpayers, are not only unacceptable, they merit his immediate dismissal. Beyond that, the fact that the school board sat there and allowed this disturbing scene to continue is yet another indication of their complete failure to run the district or to respect their own students. Mr. Kirby, like Mr. D’Agostino before him, and every member of the school board should be completely ashamed. I stand with the students and parents of East Ramapo and demand Mr. Kirby and Mr. D’Agostino’s immediate termination.
Elaine Duddy July 04, 2013 at 11:34 AM
There is no excuse for his disgusting language and behavior!
Mack July 04, 2013 at 11:51 AM
ER is a mess in many ways. This is good publicity to bring to light all that is wrong in that district. What a pity for the kids and future adults many who will be ill equipped to contribute to society.
Pete Taylor July 04, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Peggy Hatton has been coming to board meetings for years. She has been riling up the crowd for years, Tony Luciano (the guy who ignited all this by calling Mr. Kirby a A@@#$%%) referred to the Jewish Board as Pontius Pilot http://youtu.be/z0EhnPC1Y7Q Peggy and Tony are hardly innocent victims here. Tony has used foul language many times when referring to the Jews. I guess Mr. Kirby just snapped.
Alan July 04, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Where is St. Lawrence, Vanderhoef, and Governor Cuomo? Shouldn't they be involved or at least have a comment? Not only should Mr. Kirby and Mr. D'Agostino be terminated immediately, so should the board. I can't believe they sat and watched this unfold and said and did nothing, disgusting !
Bruce Cohen July 04, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Why am I not surprised at Attorney Kirby's totally unacceptable behavior. Considering the behavior of the entire E. Ramapo school board, his comments appear to be their words, just in his mouth. The way New Square and Kaiser run their towns' are a disgrace to all of us, and especially the Jewish, non-Orthodox population in this county, state and country. These "religious" groups have just about made me ashamed to be of the same basic religion as these self-proclaimed zealots. The town, Mr. St. Lawrence, and the E. Ramapo school district really needs the Federal Government to immediately take over running the town NOW. And the hell with the block votes. If they were Muslims or any other "less-favored and poorer" group, would we still see them get special treatment. And by-the-way, if this Kirby person wants a physical confrontation, just post it, I'll be more than glad to met with him or his boss.
Ducky July 04, 2013 at 12:47 PM
@Tyler. I think you did hear - and see - his side. Granted, we don't know what happened at the meeting, but even if that woman were the most annoying, "squeaky" person on earth, he should not have used the "C" word. (Either one.) Mr. Kirby showed very bad judgment, especially since there were cameras in his face. Especially if there was goading. He should have gotten in his car, and driven off.
Watchdog July 04, 2013 at 01:03 PM
And to think he is getting paid $125.00 travel time while cursing out mothers. Shoenberger, these are your people. Why are you not speaking out?
Watchdog July 04, 2013 at 01:05 PM
If you want more of the same, cast your vote for Shoenberger. for County Executive. These are his people who hired this thug and failed to speak out while this mother is being attacked. I just cannot believe it.
Pete Taylor July 04, 2013 at 01:18 PM
@Ducky, I’m not defending Mr. Kirby. You are correct he used bad judgment. All I’m saying is that Ms. Hatton and Luciano are professional instigators; they have been doing this for years. They come to board meeting screaming at the Jewish Board Members; both of them ran for the school board and lost, sour grapes and all. Mr. Kirby is an all American guy, former Marine and a former prosecutor; he is not Jewish yet has been subjected to attacks meeting after meeting. They have filed complaints against Mr. Kirby in the past, you don’t see on the clip if he did indeed smirk, they taunted him calling him names and the kid simply snapped. Ms. Hatton crocodile tears do not impress me.
Ryan Buncher (Editor) July 04, 2013 at 01:25 PM
There is a link to footage from the meeting in the article. Here it is again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1P-BWF5X4s&feature=youtu.be The more heated exchange begins shortly after the three minute mark.
ALW July 04, 2013 at 01:30 PM
No matter what happened or didn't happen in that meeting and how much he may have been ticked off at those parents, the words he used and his confrontational manner is enough to make you see who works for who in that district. That NO ONE on the board during the meeting told him to calm done is also indicative of how women are perceived by this cult. Every resident of this county should be very, very careful of who they vote for in the County Executive race. The future of Rockland County is a very tenuous situation depending on who gets elected and this group knows it. So, if you think that because you don't live in this district, you are not affected...think again.
Rowena Molluso July 04, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I know there are always two sides to every story, folks, but nothing, NOTHING warrants behavior like this! EVER! Grow up! Who the hell does this guy think he is? Cuckoo. Cuckoo.
Pete Taylor July 04, 2013 at 01:45 PM
@ALW The Board behaved acted very professional and were smart not to do anything at that time to escalate the situation more. In fact in this altercation the Vice President of the board is the only one behaving like an adult. Luciano calling the attorney an a@@$%^&* Hatton calling 911 because someone calls you a name? Give me a break.
amerpatriot July 04, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Seems one man against a mob of angry intimidators is a little sided. Mr Kirby's defensive aggression would seem to be a normal response given his military background. It would also seem that Mr Kirby was almost in his car when he was verbally attacked by the angry mob. Some unanswered questions here. Just sayin.
Ducky July 04, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I just watched the meeting video (link above) to see what actually happened. Unbelievable. Was this whole thing staged by Kirby?
Toni July 04, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Wow! I can't believe what I just watched. I wonder what kind of household this guy is running?! It's not that serious for him to carry on like that. He should have taken it like a man and been on his way home to his family. I would love to be a fly on the wall at his house when his wife saw that. Crazy!
Atom July 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM
If I lived in east Ramapo, I would be furious..., the value of every home just went down ...Knowing the school board provided the forum for this behavior is an outrage!... I hope this video goes viral nationally..( Just as the woman bullied on the school bus). And maybe then something will get done to stop this behavior..
Ducky July 04, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Why blame the school board? This man, and every other sane individual, is responsible for what they say and do. He acted like an immature, total idiot.
DTOMe July 05, 2013 at 12:51 AM
I don't care what your feelings are-If you are representing a population and are on the job you must remain professional... Everyone of those parents are paying the salary of that lawyer who used unacceptable behavior... What if he was a cop coming at a person like that with a gun- apolice officer knows better and a lawyer does not get to curse out the people paying his salary.. all he had to do was get in his car and drive away.. and parents have a right to ask questions.. he was confrontational, and scary!!! We wouldn't tolerate that kind of mouth or treatment from a student. this guy is supposed to be upholding the law.. individuals must remain professional..
Harley D July 05, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Fire him
Jill July 05, 2013 at 11:38 PM
The lawyer should have just left and not cared about what these people were saying. The lawyer was leaving and the male parent was calling him an """hole. The parents show this video with them starting a fight. They were looking for drama and continued it while he was trying to leave. The heavy set women should have minded her business and went home to her special needs child. She could have been reading him a story instead of being involved in a mob surrounding this lawyers car. The lawyer should sue these parents personally. This school district will continue to get worse and the lawyer has nothing to do with the real problem.
b July 08, 2013 at 09:56 PM
This is the legal representation of the East Ramapo School Board? Summed up in one word.. "Disgusting"
Jay Bronie July 12, 2013 at 01:27 PM
I feel most sorry for his wife and kids as they ostensibly have been embarrassed in2 therapy. This meltdown will be out there for generations of his family to see and will also serve as Exhibit 1in his divorce proceedings.
John July 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Here is the beginning of the video, that started in the board room, http://youtu.be/x1P-BWF5X4s . Obviously Peggy Hatton is a huge PITA(think about it) for the board. There is no process for turning a 64 to a 65. If the teacher grades a test and it comes out to 64, they go back and look at the test and see if they can find an extra point or partial credit for the child. NO TEACHER wants a kid to fail. However, on a science regents FACTS are FACTS, it's not subjective like a humanities class such as English. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm pretty sure I recall if you're in special ed. and you get over a 55 on a regents you are eligible for a non-regents(IEP) diploma. And if a child does require special education, then this should be more than satisfactory. This woman is clearly unstable and out of it. Does 1 point on one child's science regents really demand the attention of a school board for an entire district? If I was the lawyer I'd be laughing too. Of course he's NOT laughing at the misfortune of the child. He's laughing at the ridiculousness of the mother and her cohorts. FYI I seriously doubt this woman has never been called a C*** or a B**** before because she is obviously both, and a miserable one at that. "I'm calling the police." FOR WHAT? Really? Like c'mon.
Bob Strong August 27, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I'm pretty certain that our personal injury lawyer here in Surrey would never behave like this. I can't believe how irresponsible some people are. It's just crazy. http://www.mactuc.com/personal_injury.html


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