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Decision Number
Sophie Howe
Cindy Howe
Roland-Story Community School District
Full Text

Alleging pervasive harassment of Sophie Howe, dating back to when Sophie was in 3rd or 4th grade, Cindy Howe filed an open enrollment application with Roland-Story on July 31, 2009, and sought to enroll Sophie in the Ames Community School District.

Cindy Howe testified that she did not know the date for the open enrollment deadline, that she was not aware prior to July 31, 2009, of how the harassment was affecting her daughter, and that she wanted to wait to transfer Sophie until her house, on the market for two years, sold. Superintendent Billings testified that the March 1 deadline was printed in the District's newsletter, which Cindy Howe acknowledged receiving. He also testified that with one exception, his staff had not been approached by Sophie or Cindy regarding any harassment.

The controlling statute for this appeal is the open enrollment law, Iowa Code section 282.18, and the exception to the statutory filing deadline of March 1 in 282.18(5) regarding applications that seek open enrollment due to "repeated acts of harassment of the student." Without minimizing what Sophie experienced, ignorance regarding the statutory deadline is no excuse for Cindy Howe to have missed the March 1 open enrollment deadline. In addition, there was no evidence that Cindy Howe was not aware of any harassment that occurred before March 1, 2009.

The August 10, 2009 decision of the Board of Directors of the Roland-Story community School district, denying the open enrollment request filed on behalf of Sophie Howe, is AFFIRMED.