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Decision Number
Athletic Eligibility - Scholarship Rule
Scott & Erin McDonough, Petitioners
Full Text

The petitioners seek a waiver from Iowa Administrative Code 281--36.15(2)"c" , which states that all students who compete in interscholastic athletics must pass all courses in which credit is given, and if a student is given a failing grade at a final grading period, the student cannot dress or compete in athletics as a bona fide contestant.

The petitioners argued that the student was not responsible for his failing grade in chemistry due to complications of oral surgery and the effects of the medications he was taking, and that they were not made aware that their son was failing the course until a month before the failing final grade was issued.

The district's rebuttal was that the student was given an opportunity to raise the grade to a passing grade, but he cheated, and the opportunity was withdrawn; also, the district has an online system which enables parents to have access to their students' grades at all times.

The petition does not satisfy the criterion of being an undue hardship on the student, as there is no "right" for a student to participate in athletics. The whole point of the rule is to impose consequences for a failing grade.The reasons the student failed the class have not been shown by clear and convincing evidence to be related to his health, and the availability of an online system for parents to access grades nullifies the argument of them not being informed of the failing grade timely.

The petition for waiver is denied, and the students 20-day ineligibility period is to be served in full during the football season.