The sole issue presented is whether the circumstances meet the criteria established by this Board for granting a late-filed open enrollment based on pervasive harassment of the student. The controlling statute for this appeal is the open enrollment law, Iowa Code section 282.18 (2011), and the exception to the March 1st filing deadline for applications that seek open enrollment due to ''repeated acts of harassment of the student.'' The State Board applies four established criteria when reviewing an open enrollment decision involving a claim of repeated acts of harassment. All four criteria must be met for this Board to reverse the local board decision.
In early March, Tiffany and her parents notified her building principal that Student A had threatened Tiffany on Facebook and bothering her in the lunch room. The school took action to address these allegations and received no further reports of harassment involving Tiffany before the end of the school year. On the last day of school, Student A again threatened Tiffany as the students were leaving the school. On May 7th her parents requested open enrollment based on pervasive harassment.
The behavior described at hearing did not include direct threats to Tiffany's person or property and did not rise to the level of pervasive harassment. In addition, school officials were not notified of any ongoing discomfort experienced by Tiffany before the open enrollment application was filed and the District was not given a chance to alleviate the situation. The evidence fails to meet the second and third criteria.
The family remains free to make the decisions they deem to be best for Tiffany and they may choose to enroll her in a different district outside of the open enrollment process. This appeal and all others brought under the open enrollment law is about only whether the local school board committed an error of law. We conclude that the Cedar Falls School Board applied Iowa Code section 282.18(5) appropriately in this case when it denied the late open enrollment application.
The local board's decision is upheld.