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Decision Number
Good Conduct Discipline of Brandon M.
Anne Michehl
Eagle Grove Community School District
Full Text

Ms. Michehl seeks reversal of the December 12, 2011 decision of the local board of directors of the Eagle Grove School District to uphold the administrative finding that Brandon violated the District's good conduct policy.

Like most schools, Eagle Grove has a good conduct policy proscribing certain behaviors for its students who participate in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports. Among the prohibited conduct is possession and use of any tobacco product.

The local school board's authority to enforce a good conduct policy derives from Iowa Code section 279.8, which states that "the board shall make rules for its own government and that of the ? pupils, and for the care of the schoolhouse, grounds, and property of the school corporation ? ." The Iowa Supreme Court has also ruled that schools and school districts may govern out-of-school conduct of its students who participate in extracurricular activities. Bunger v. Iowa High School Athletic Association, 197 N.W.2d 555, 564 (Iowa 1972).

Brandon admitted using chewing tobacco. Up to that point, there was no due process violation because no further process was due to Brandon Importantly, Brandon has not been disciplined for the incident on the evening of November 19. His third offense under the Eagle Grove good conduct policy is his admission of use of chewing tobacco at another, unspecified time. The question becomes whether the admission was coerced.

No peace officers were present, so there was no real or perceived involvement of law enforcement. No threats were made; no trickery was used; no pressure was exerted. This Board understands that Brandon was sitting around a table with his mother and with persons in positions of authority from the school district, but none of the school officials were abusing their authority. The local school board concluded that Brandon was neither tricked nor coerced into admitting to a good conduct violation. There was no error in that conclusion.

The decision of the Board of Directors of the Eagle Grove Community School District made on December 12, 2011, finding that Brandon M. committed his third violation of the District's good conduct rule, is AFFIRMED.