As a father in a high-conflict divorce, I was surprised when the office staff at my daughter's elementary school refused to add my name to the emergency contact list. I was shocked that they would deny the provable father the right to be contacted in the event of an emergency, and that even having legal joint custody was not enough to make this simple change.
No, they informed me, a change must be made by my ex-wife. The principal, district coordinator, and even lawyers for the Utah State Office of Education provided no justification other than the convenience of only dealing with one parent.
In a world of elementary school shootings and the swine flu, how can state-approved alienation be the policy? The state is empowering spite-filled individuals. Were the unthinkable to occur in my daughter's school, I would not even be contacted. More than that, with this one-voice restriction, they expand the rights of the parent with primary physical care beyond the bounds set in the courts.
This is inappropriate and inexcusable.