The Appellants, N.T. and J.T., seek reversal of a June 5, 2018 decision by Des Moines Community School District ("District") Board ("Board") denying a late filed open enrollment request on behalf of their minor child, H.T. An in-person evidentiary hearing was held in this matter on July 31, 2018, before designated administrative law judge, Nicole M. Proesch, J.D pursuant to agency rules found at 281 Iowa Administrative Code chapter 6.
The Appellant, her husband, and their four daughters, including H.T., are residents of the Des Moines Independent Community School District. H.T. is going into the 7th grade at Harding Middle School. Prior to the 2017-2018 school year she attended Madison Elementary School. During her first year at Harding, H.T. was called names and harassed in the beginning of the school year by a boy in her class on a daily basis.N.T. encouraged H.T. to ignore the boy because you cannot make everyone like you. However, the boy continued to harass H.T. calling her names and telling others not to be friends with her because she was calling them racial slurs. H.T. did not want to go to school anymore.
Principal Linquist investigated the incident and found that the harassment was so frequent and pervasive that the other student needed to be moved away from H.T. The other student was given a new schedule and H.T. was given several office passes to use if she needed them. However, in February or March of 2018, a female student threatened to fight H.T. at school. H.T. was afraid to go to school. This was not reported to the principal or other staff. H.T reported no further incidents with this student. Finally, in May of 2018, there was an incident in class with five girls.
Another student had stolen balloons from the teacher's desk and was handing them out to students. H.T. declined to take a balloon because she knew they belonged to the teacher. The next day in class the teacher confronted the class. Several girls accused H.T. of taking the balloons and threatened to jump H.T.
N.T. came to the school to address the issue. She spoke with the teacher and the school counselor. N.T. did not feel like the issue was resolved. N.T. testified that Harding is not a good environment for her daughter. On or about May 14, 2018, N.T. filed an application for open enrollment requesting to open enroll H.T. from the District to Saydel.The Appellant has not offered any evidence that H.T.'s needs could not be met by the District at another attendance center. Based on this record, we find that the Appellant's desire to attend Saydel is a matter of convenience, not because H.T. would not be safe at another Des Moines attendance center.
For the foregoing reasons, the decision of the Board made on June 5, 2018, denying the open enrollment request filed on behalf of H.T., is AFFIRMED.