In recent years, especially with rising divorce rates and the number of families in conflict over the parenting of their children, schools have been dragged unwillingly into the divorce fray. Many school officials acting without clear policy and with little understanding of the dynamics of family conflict, have often reacted in ways which has only served to intensify conflict within the family, create bad feeling between parent and school and further cause emotional harm to children. Lack clear policies and failure to inform teachers and school officials about how to effectively deal with this growing area of concern has helped to allow this problem to continue.
The vast majority of problems involving children of separation and divorce at school are created when one parent, usually the custodial parent, will attempt to manipulate teachers and school officials into a position that supports them in their attempts to create interference with their child’s relationship with the other parent or members of the other parent’s extended family during the times that the child is in attendance at school.
Often, the parent who is attempting to manipulate the system is doing so out of anger and revenge against the other parent. Seldom are they acting in the interests of their child.. Teachers and school officials must be vigilant to ensure that they do not get drawn into the conflict by taking sides and reacting in a manner that is damaging to the child or acting outside of the law.