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Decision Number
Open Enrollment of Jill F.
Kevin and Lisa F.
Clay Central-Everly Community School District
Full Text

The sole issue presented here is whether the incident described herein meets the criteria established by this Board for granting a late-filed open enrollment in which pervasive harassment of the student is alleged.The controlling statute for this appeal is the open enrollment law, Iowa Code section 282.18 (2011), 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."

All four criteria must be met regarding open enrollment requests based on repeated acts of harassment for the Board to give the requested relief. The third criterion requires a showing that the harassment is likely to continue despite school officials' efforts to the contrary. Here, school officials were not notified of any ongoing discomfort experienced by Jill. The District had to have been given a chance to alleviate the situation for Jill; it was not given that chance. The evidence fails to meet the second and third criteria.

We remind school officials, students, and families that these types of open enrollment appeals are not about a family's right to transfer their children to other school districts. Families are free to make the decisions they deem to be best for their children. This appeal and all others brought under the open enrollment law is about whether the local school board erred legally. We conclude that the Clay Central-Everly school board applied Iowa Code section 282.18(5) appropriately when it denied the late open enrollment application filed on behalf of Jill.

The December 21, 2011 decision of the Board of Directors of the Clay Central-Everly Community School District, denying the open enrollment request filed on behalf of Jill F., is AFFIRMED.