Appellants seek reversal of a decision by the Riverside Community School District (CSD) denying a late-filed open enrollment request on behalf of their minor child, K.M. Authority and jurisdiction for the appeal are found Iowa Code sections 282.18(5) and 290.1.
In the 2015-16 school year, students began name calling and threatening K.M. After reporting the threats to school administrators, K.M. was retaliated against by students. Parents reported incidents to the district and reached out for school support. Parents encouraged student to continue to work through issues at school. During the 2016-17 school year, the same group of students continued to harass K.M. Parents continued to report harassment throughout the school year to school officials. During March of 2017, an incident took place involving one of the harassers and K.M.'s car.
Parents filed an application for open enrollment of their child from Riverside CSD to Treynor CSD. After sharing information with the Riverside CSD school board regarding their child's mental and emotional health, as well as a letter from the child's counselor regarding the student's anxiety and depression diagnosis and recommending a school transfer to be beneficial, Riverside school board denied the Appellants open enrollment application.
Appellants appealed the denial to the State Board of Education. A decision by the local board denying a late-filed open enrollment application that is based on repeated acts of harassment that the resident district could not adequately address is subject to appeal to the State Board under Code section 290.1.
The State Board concluded that the local school board incorrectly applied Iowa Code section 282.18(5) when it denied the late open enrollment application filed on behalf of K.M. The decision of the Riverside CSD Board made on March 22, 2017, is REVERSED.