WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. -- A Long Island student wants to continue his education with his friends, siblings and classmates in a mainstream classroom where he has always been. But as of right now, he won't be able to do so.
School policy in Westhampton Beach is to bus the special education students out to other districts, reports CBS New York.
The parents of Aiden Killoran, 12, who has Down syndrome, have now taken the fight to a U.S. District Court. And soon it will be up to a judge to decide whether Westhampton must be forced to educate all special need students locally within its district.
CBS New York reports while some think going outside of the district is a chance for a great education, with with experienced and talented special education teachers, others, like the Killoran's, believe it is discrimination.
In June, Aiden graduated from his local elementary school. He is set to begin 7th grade. His family assumed he would continue on -- mainstreamed-- to Westhampton Beach Middle School.
"They have a special ed program, but they only take high-functioning kids," explained Killoran family attorney Pamela Tucker. "They only want kids who are able to deal with core curriculum and take Regents diplomas."
Aiden's siblings want him to attend school with them too.
"He's like the king of the school -- so, everybody knows him," said Aiden's sister, Shannon Killoran.
"I love him a lot. I do a lot for him, and I really hope he can to go to Westhampton so I can be in school with him," said Aiden's brother, Christian Killoran.
But the Killoran's received word Aiden would not be going to Westhampton Beach Middle School after all.
Instead, he would be among 43 special needs students to be bused to neighboring districts.
"Westhampton Beach School District has never, in their entire history, ever educated an openly assessed special needs student for post-elementary education," explained Aiden's father, Christian Killoran.
CBS New York reports that the school superintendent and school board president attended the court proceedings on Monday. They declined to comment outside court because of the pending litigation.
Though many in the community are supportive of the Killoran family.
"It comes out to about $4 million a year that they're busing out these 43 kids that we do have available to create a program in our community, in Westhampton Beach School District," said Aiden's mother, Terrie Killoran.
The judge is expected to make a ruling later this week.