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School to pay €4,000 for discrimination of separated dad

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 28/10/2015. School to pay €4,000 for discrimination of separated dadTags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers

The Equality Tribunal has ruled in favour of a separated father's case against his daughter's school. The court heard how the school caused him "anxiety and distress" by treating him differently to other parents.

The father claims that the school requested proof of his custody rights and, on numerous occasions, purposefully neglected to inform him of school events involving his child in adequate time.

The father reported a particular incident involving the school's sports day:

"On the 24th of May, he said that he was travelling from Dublin to the Midlands to attend the sports day and he telephoned the school Principal to confirm the details of the time and location of the event. The Principal returned his call and informed him that she had received a telephone call from his estranged wife (Ms A) to say that his daughter would not be attending the sports day because he was planning to attend. The complainant said that the Principal was very rude to him and told him that she could not have him engaging in disruptive behavior in front of other parents. She then requested that he produce Court documents on his access and custody arrangements for his daughter and she threatened that she would call the Gardaí in relation to the matter. He said that it was impossible to reason with the Principal and he terminated the conversation."

According to the court report, the complainant also alleged that he was victimised for initiating a complaint to the Equality Tribunal after his estranged wife had enrolled their daughter in the school without his knowledge or consent. However this matter was resolved at mediation and the case was withdrawn from the Tribunal. He said that he withdrew the case because he wanted to improve the relationship with the school."

The Court was told that Mrs A had frequently removed her daughter from the school when she was made aware that the child's father would be attending. In response to the complaints made against the school, the Principal argued "the reason she asked for the Court Order in relation to access arrangements is that she given conflicting information she was operating with her hands behind her back."

The Tribunal ordered the school to pay €4,000 in compensation to the father for the discriminatory treatment he received in relation to "gender, civil status and victimisation grounds." Equality Officer Marian Duffy said she was satisfied that the complainant was ”treated differently than other parents in the circumstance”, noting also that he had been notified of the event (sports day)a day later than other parents. However, the court ruled that there was"no discrimination on the family status ground."

See here for a full report.



(15-12-2015 21:00)

I know what this father went through. So did I. I had to prove everything. All my ex had to do was make allegations and they were a cepted as facts. I was guilty until proven innocent.

Andries van Tonder

(14-12-2015 01:02)

The need to educate every teacher, parent, child, the authorities and the Courts regarding Parental Alienation is important.
What is not realised is that Parental Alienation is the most serious form of emotional abuse and is now classified and the second worst form of child abuse after sexual abuse (incest).
The fact that many educators does not recognise the effects on the children, should be addressed urgently.
I am ending with 2 examples of PAS Kids in the past year:
(1) Teacher at secondary school recognised the situation, initiating action to assist and protect the child. It came to the attention of the PA therapist that the child was preparing to commit suicide collecting her grandmother's sleeping tablets.
(2) Nobody recognised the plea of a PAS child, even on social media and in an essay written in class. This young man left a girlfriend, brother, mother and father behind.

Jonny Gray

(17-12-2015 02:26)

It is scandalous that in 2015 parental Alienation is encouraged and endorsed by statutory bodies and institutions such as schools. This is in total defiance of the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Whilst this ruling and fine is welcomed it is not enough. Legislation must reflect the seriousness of these actions and suitable punishment must be explored to act as a deterrent in the future

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