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Department of Education

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Appeal Decisions

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BOOK: 13 
MONTH-YEAR: November - 1996
IN RE: In re Jesse Bachman
APPELLANT: Cindy Barkmeier
APPELLEE: Southern Cal Community School District
KEYWORDS: Good Conduct Policy
DETAILS: Jesse Bachman was a senior at Southern Cal High School.  He had been selected class president for the four years he attended high school.  In the past, Jesse had been involved in FFA, football, and basketball. On July 12, 1996, Jessee consumed alcohol of a minimum of 3 cans of beer at his mothers residence with her consent.  He had two previous violations of the activity policy; the first was alcohol-related and the second was an OWI.  The police were involved in both prior incidents.
  Appellant was advised wheen her son had been declared ineligible for a period of 8 weeks for his second violation that a third offense prior to March 16, 1997, would mean Jesse would be declared ineligible for a period of one calendar year (12 months). Appellants counsel raised two objections to the superintendents recommendation at the local board meeting. 1) that Jesses consumption of 3 beers with his mothers permission was legal; and 2) the validity of the attendance policy as it covered Jesses behavior during the summer when he was not "registered and enrolled as a student."
  Appellants issues on appeal are: Whether a good conduct policy that prohibits the use of drugs or alcohol by student athletes during the summer is a reasonable exercise of the Boards authority? Whether a good conduct policy that punishes a student athlete for behavior that would be legal if done by a nonathlete is a reasonable exercise of the Boards authorty? In general, school discipline policies address student conduct which occurs on school grounds during the school day. This is because a school districts regulation of student conduct must bear some reasonable relationship to the educational environment. Because of the leadership role of these "stand-out" students, their conduct, even out of school, directly affects the good order and welfare of the school. Bunger, 197 NW 2nd 555,564(Iowa 1972).
  Extracurricular activities are not mandatory.  By electing to participate, students agree to abide by the terms of a good conduct policy even when school is not in session. The possession and consumption of drugs or alcohol during the summer by a student athlete meets the test. The standard used in school disciplinary actions is that a decision reached by a local board must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Smyth v. Lubbers, 398 f.supp.777(W.D.Mich. 1975).
OUTCOMES: That the decision of the Southern Cal Community School Districts Board of Directors, made on September 9, 1996, was affirmed.