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Decision Number
Open Enrollment of H.H. and H.H.2
R.H. and M.H.
Okoboji Community School District
Full Text

In this case, the Appellants' circumstances have changed since they originally filed their applications for open enrollment. The Appellants are no longer residents of the OCSD and in fact are residents of the district to which they seek to open enroll. Under these new circumstances, any outcome of State Board's decision in the merits of this appeal no longer matters. The issue is now moot. Even if the Appellants' applications for open enrollment had been approved by the District, open enrollment terminates if the students move to the receiving district.

However, because parents and school districts look to these decisions for guidance we will analyze the facts of this case against the criterion we have previously set out in these cases.

A decision by either board denying a late-filed open enrollment application that is based on "repeated acts of harassment of the student or serious health condition of the student that the resident district cannot adequately address" is subject to appeal to the State Board of Education under Code section 290.1. Iowa Code ? 282.18(5). The State Board applies established criteria when reviewing an open enrollment decision involving a claim of repeated acts of harassment.

The State Board has granted relief under Iowa Code section 282.18(5) in only three other cases. In each case, the facts established that the experienced harassment involved serious physical assaults and destruction of property of those students. Here the evidence presented at the hearing shows that the environment was not objectively hostile. The conflict with administration and AD Paulson was a disagreement in coaching philosophy and decisions, decisions which are properly left with the coach.

While we do not doubt that H.H. subjectively felt uncomfortable after the meetings he had with AD Paulson and administration there is no evidence to suggest that H.H. was a victim of pervasive harassment under the law. Nor do we believe that the conduct complained of by H.H.2. rises to the level of pervasive harassment. Thus, the conduct complained of does not rise to the level of pervasive harassment that the legislature and the State Board remedy by allowing late-filed open enrollment applications.

The appeal is hereby DISMISSED. Even if the issues were not moot the decision of the OCSD Board to deny the open enrollment application would be AFFIRMED.