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Decision Number
Chase S.
Denzil & Nerea S.
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Full Text

Appellants seek reversal of a decision of the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that Chase is in-eligible under the provisions of 281 Iowa Administrative Code 36 for 90 consecutive school days to compete in interscholastic athletic competitions, following his enrollment from Mediapolis to Wapello Community School District.

Chase is 16 years old and resides with his parents in the Wapello Community School District. When the family moved to the Wapello School District, Chase expressed a desire to remain in Mediapolis. His parents filed an open enrollment request which was approved as a continuation. While at Mediapolis Chase was diagnosed with ADHD. He has had an IEP since that diagnosis and the contents of the IEP have not change from one district to the other.

Chase's most recent IEP, dated September 3, 2003, states that athletics are important to Chase's ability to learn organiza-tional, time management, teamwork and deadline skills. The IEP states that Chase maintain eligibility "for all extracurricular activities," and that Chase be eligible to participate in sports. Mediapolis allowed Chase to continue competing in sports despite his poor grades because of the IEP and its directives. As a transfer student from Mediapolis to Wapello, Chase was ruled ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletics, first by the administration and then by the Board of Control of IHSAA.

Appellants made both entities aware of Chase's disability. An exception to the General Transfer Rule exists regarding a student with a disability whose IEP creates the right to participate by its teams. Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. section 794) is a non-discrimination law that provides individuals with disabilities access to, among other things, programs offered by schools that receive Federal funding. This includes extracurricular programs as well as the educational program. Chase transferred for reasons specific to his special education needs and his IEP directly required his participation in interscholastic athletics for reasons related to his special education program.

That the decision made on August 28, 2003, by the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that Chase was ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletics at Wapello Community School District for a period of 90 consecutive school days was reversed.