Banana Republic Methods on Saddle River School Board Mirror Family Court

Bandy X. Lee
7 min readDec 20, 2023

Evelyn Nissirios at the Center of Two Heated Controversies

Family Court corruption not only undermines democracy but flows into other areas to damage society, and Evelyn Nissirios and the Saddle River School Board saga is a prime example. If not for Family Court “protection”, Nissirios would have been charged with felony crimes and sentenced to years, if not decades, in prison long ago. However, Family Court is an “alternative court” that not only shields child predators from prosecution but grants sole custody of child victims to their victimizers so that they can extort “child support” from the loving parent, character-assassinate witnesses, and enlist the illegitimate backing of schools, the police, and even a pediatrician in one particular case. As a consequence, there is no one left — or willing, for who would dare defy court orders? — to protect the children. Nissirios’ role is to ensure that these autocratic methods operate smoothly, and therefore it is no wonder that she is so eager to cling to power through the School Board, that she would use any means to hold onto her seat, despite losing an election.

[Of note, the “Photo Courtesy of Evelyn Nissirios” in the Bergen Record looks nothing like the real Nissirios. She has an icy cold, glaring stare that is zombie-like in indifference to the suffering of innocent children and betrays her scheming, conniving, and Machiavellian ways. I tried to make a depiction in the sketch below, for which I own the copyright:]

Evelyn Nissirios, Courtesy of Bandy X. Lee

In Family Court, the principle of power rules over all other principles, including the law, and players such as Evelyn Nissirios are rewarded, not punished, for their crimes against children. Their rewards in Family Court have a ripple effect, such that Nissirios has been able to accumulate positions and accolades — without suspicion that she rose to her stature for her willingness to engage in the trafficking of children to their abuse and torture. How is this possible? Family Courts are the one judicial branch that is not bound by the law, so that they might use the flexibility for benevolence — but in practice they overwhelmingly abuse it for malevolence. And having the power to conduct all sessions in total secrecy, they have become the congregating place for malevolent actors like Nissirios, who has shown her whole life purpose to be posited on power. This is how Family Courts have become such deadly places for children and their loving mothers.

Carrying this ethos, there is no doubt that Evelyn Nissirios’ presence has corrupted the Saddle River School Board. Now, this Board acts as an institution the way Nissirios acts as an individual — so far removed from reality that, even when threatened, she shows no response. Here are some of the similarities I have personally observed:

1. Disdain for Petitioners through Nonresponse. When I wrote to the School Board in February 2023, as a mandated reporter regarding the first set of children I witnessed Evelyn Nissirios abusing, I already suspected irregularity. I wrote to John Peros, then the president of the Board, and was met with total silence, despite following up at least four times, asking for acknowledgment of receipt of the material I sent to him: an explanatory cover letter, a timeline of events, an affidavit, and a medical report. To the time of his resignation, he never responded. This is especially egregious, since a school official is also a mandated reporter, and his failure to respond or to investigate credible evidence of child abuse can carry criminal liability. However, this is the same manner with which the Family Court shielding Nissirios has responded to my mandated reporting: instead of investigating my claims, it used them as a cue to stonewall any testimony, threatened and intimidated me, a well-credentialed psychiatrist, and obstructed all investigations, including those of the Child Protective Services — which not only breaks the law but exemplifies institutional betrayal (hence the reason for my federal lawsuit). Since then, I have learned of many more instances of Nissirios’ child abuse and torture — spanning multiple families throughout the state — and she does this because she can, under the protection of Family Court. In my view, the School Board similarly ignored its obligations because it could, without accountability.

2. Deflection of Allegations, Even Serious Ones. The Bergen Record notes of Evelyn Nissrios: “A Board of Education incumbent defeated in November’s election has been appointed to the unexpired term of a fellow trustee.” Apparently, Nissirios was previously identified for her role in a dispute over bus routes carrying children in middle school to a neighboring town, since there is no middle school in the district. True to form, Nissirios seems to have abused her authority to preserve the bus route to her own home, which was not even shortened, while another route was eliminated altogether. These kinds of abuses of power, personal conflicts, and “friends helping friends,” as one member of the public put it, are not only common but the very operating code of Family Courts. In addition, the Board is plagued with parents filing complaints with the state Education Department, questions about a 78,000-dollar feasibility study, and now Nissirios’ illegal appointment. Regarding this latest defiance of election results, Board President Emily Kaufman stated: “We hope that having two members who received such confidence from voters will help unite the community.” It would be hard to conjure up more extraordinary semantic obfuscation, deflection, and double speak — evocative of Family Courts’ consummate “spins” to explain irrational child custody reversals, away from the beloved parent to imprisonment with child abusers, as being “for the best interests of the children.”

3. The Holding of Anomalous Hearings. When I was invited to view a recording of the Saddle River Board of Education meeting, I had to wonder what country this was in, reminiscent of how it felt with the handling of almost any matter in Family Court. As an outsider looking in, it was astonishing to me how draconian and defensive the Board’s posture was, when this was a small meeting in a small community over one school. Cold, bureaucratic methods of enforcing strict adherence to rules, such as, “Your three minutes are up!” and citing loopholes in the law to justify its actions, rather than addressing grievances, exceeded in austerity any courtroom I had attended in my twenty-five years of practice as an expert witness — with the exception, of course, of Family Court. Almost no question was directly answered, citing “confidentiality issues,” “following proper procedure,” or more hoops to jump through: “Please provide me with the data [on the Board’s own web site] you were looking at; until then I cannot answer.” The Board did not display half the intelligence of the highly-educated members of the audience, much like Nissirios, who pretends she knows better than the multiple doctorate medical professionals she has contradicted, with only a no-name law school law degree. My subjective impressions were echoed in the objecting expressions of frustrated community members in attendance, who complained of: “the perceived lack of transparency and the lack of ethical process”; “premeditated or orchestrated actions in order to manage questions, information flow, or the compilation of the Board”; rules that are “disrespectful towards parents”; circumvention of elections by excluding “two qualified candidates that were here”; a lack of response regarding the school’s “plummeting … rank,” “lack of diversity [on the Board],” and “escalating costs”; the Board’s “sham election”; and “two policies going on,” namely the openness the Code of Ethics promises and what the Board actually practices.

N.B.: Finally, members of the public broke out with objections to the process, of which I cite only a small sample below. No matter how egregious the accusations or how outraged the objectioner, the answer always was: “Is there anyone else who would like to comment?”

“I do not know if you will even clarify what you will answer, or we are just wasting our time by coming here and giving our comments, and nothing is being done or not even an answer is expected by us. What are we supposed to do? Are we just wasting our time coming here, or is there going to be any response from you guys?” [The room erupted in applause, but the Board merely responded, again: “Is there any other comment?”]

“I do not know what we are doing, wasting two and a half hours, where it is not an exchange. This is not how any business meeting on this planet works, how any efficient business meeting on this planet works. And at nine-thirty, I am really questioning why I am sitting here.”

“I provided comments [on the lack of diversity and escalating costs], and I do not get a response. I keep providing the same comments over and over again, as do many of the community members, and it is like it is going on deaf ears…. I have said multiple times, ‘Does the Board think that diversity is important?’ and it is just completely dismissed. There is no response. You go onto the next subject.”

“Putting aside, Emily, you and I had a conversation last week…. I think what I took away from that conversation was, my opponent lost by a small margin, so the community wanted her, too. I am sorry, elections and Democratic processes do not work like that. They do not work like that in this community, they do not work like that on Main Street in Washington, DC. There is an election. If you lose by one vote, you lose by one vote.”

“It was stated tonight by your counsel that you went back to the New Jersey Board of Ed., and they confirmed everything is correct. That may in fact be the case, but you do not provide that transparency…. Rather than wasting tax dollars and filing OPRA requests, getting your lawyer involved, [can the Board] today with your legal counsel just agree that whatever questions you asked the New Jersey Board of Ed., you will release those questions and the New Jersey Board of Ed.’s response, as far as what you have said, [to prove that] the process you followed is completely ethical?” [Again, the question was met with silence.]

--

--

Bandy X. Lee

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (worldmhc.org), and New York Times bestselling author.