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Decision Number
Removal from Honor Society
Courtney Rae Jackson
Jefferson-Scranton Community School District
Full Text

Appellant participated in a high school band trip sponsored by the District to Minnesota. During this trip, Appellant and other students consumed alcohol. Appellant did not dispute that she violated the school policy. She did not self-report her violation. Appellant and her parents received a letter from the District stating her violation would result in 1)a 3-day out-of-school suspension; 2)ineligibility for certain student council, national honor society, band and golf events under the District's Good Conduct Policy; 3)a meeting with personnel from a substance abuse treatment program; and 4)the consequences established by the National Honor Society Faculty Advisory Board.

The first 3 consequences were completed and are not the subject of this appeal. Appellant's dismissal from the National Honor Society is all that is before the State Board of Education. Appellant's arguments go to procedure and substance. Procedurally, she stated that she was not provided with a copy of the regulations that the NHS used in disciplining members. She also argues that the punishment was arbitrary and inconsistent with past practice in the District, as well as excessive under the circumstances.

Since 1972, the Iowa Supreme Court held that students involved in extracurricular activities at their schools may be held by the schools to a higher standard than other students. Bunger v. IHSAA, 197 N.W.2d 555, 565 (Iowa 1972). The District's decision-makers determined that dismissal was the most appropriate punishment in this case. Precedent has been set in previous cases that a "school board, as the final arbiter of a district's policies and views, may but is not required to consider mitigating circumstances in deciding whether or not to exact the full measure of punishment due a student for violating the rules." In re Peter Carlson, 22 D.o.E. App. Dec. 1(2003); In re Eric Plough, 9 D.o.E. App. Dec. 234 (19920(citing In re Carl Raper, 7 D.o.E. App. Dec. 352(1990).

That the decision of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson-Scranton Community School District made on May 18, 2005, upholding the dismissal of Courtney Jackson from the National Honor Society.