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Decision Number
Hannah T.
Janet T.
Woodbine Community School District
Full Text

The appellant seeks reversal of a decision made by the Woodbine Community School District denying her open enrollment application filed on behalf of her daughter.

She filed her application in mid-June citing harassment as the reason for the application and included a doctor's statement indicating it would be beneficial for the student to attend another school based on reported incidents.This is the first appeal since the enactment of Senate File 61 and its inclusion of a definition of harassment and bullying, providing the State Board an opportunity to re-examine the criteria by which we determine whether a late-filed application for open enrollment that alleges repeated acts of harassment of the student should be granted.

The State Board of Education takes this opportunity to announce the updated criteria, which is as follows:1) The harassment must have occurred after March 1 (or the student or parent is able to demonstrate that the extent of the harassment could not have been known until after March 1).2) The harassment must be specific electronic, written, verbal, or physical acts or conduct toward the student which created an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions: (A) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property. (B) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health. (C) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance. (D) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.3)The evidence must show that the harassment is likely to continue despite the efforts of school officials to resolve the situation.4) Changing the student's school district will alleviate the situation.

The first criterion examined is whether the harassment happened, or knowledge of the harassment occurred, after March 1. The appellant was aware of the incidents that occurred prior to March 1, and there was no evidence that the harassment escalated after this date.

The local board's decision is upheld.