The Appellant seeks reversal of a decision that the IHSAA Board of Control made on April 29, 2011, finding that North-Linn High School student Austin Trumbull is ineligible to compete in varsity interscholastic athletics for 90 consecutive school days under the provisions of the general transfer rule, 281 IAC 36.15(3).
The IHSAA and the Department of Education have previously reserved the exception to the general transfer rule for compelling personal circumstances, such as when a student is in danger of immediate and identifiable irreparable harm. The record reveals that while he was a student at Iowa City West, Austin was subjected to unfair treatment from some students. This occurred at times when Austin was particularly vulnerable due to the loss of his father and grandmother and due to his mother's serious illness.
It is clear that Austin made the decision to transfer schools, in part, to avoid the bullying and harassment that he was experiencing at Iowa City West. However, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that Austin would have suffered immediate or irreparable harm unless he transferred schools. Moreover, Austin's transfer was also motivated by his desire for a smaller school environment and for a high school experience similar to what his parents had at North Linn. While Austin's high school experience would no doubt be enhanced if he was able to participate in varsity athletics immediately, the facts of this case are not sufficiently compelling to grant an exception. Based on this record, the IHSAA Board of Control's decision to deny the exception was reasonable and should be affirmed. The record supports the conclusion that Austin's transfer was principally for "school" purposes.
The April 29, 2011 decision of the Board of Control of the Iowa High School Athletic Association that Austin Trumbull is ineligible to compete in varsity interscholastic athletics at North-Linn High School for a period of 90 consecutive school days is AFFIRMED.