(AFP) – Jun 30, 2008
STOCKHOLM (AFP) — A heated debate raged in the Swedish blogosphere on Monday after an eight-year-old boy's failure to invite two classmates to his birthday party resulted in a complaint filed with parliament.
Nearly 200 outraged comments had been posted on the website of the local southern Swedish daily Sydsvenskan on Monday, just days after the paper reported about the unlikely string of events that followed a young boy's decision to invite all of his classmates to his birthday party except two.
The policy at the boy's school in the southern town of Lund was that all children (or all the boys or all the girls) had to be invited to parties when their invitations were handed out in class.
When a teacher noticed that two children had been left out of a party list, she promptly confiscated all the invitations, according to Sydsvenskan.
"Two people in class had not been invited, and that is not allowed. The ones who were not invited felt sad and left out," the school principal, who was not named, told the paper.
The boy's father meanwhile decided to file a complaint with the Swedish parliamentary ombudsman, insisting his son's rights had been trampled on.
He told the paper that the two boys in question should not have been surprised that they had not made the guest list.
"One of them did not invite my son to his birthday and the other has bullied my son for six months. You don't invite your antagonists to a birthday party," he was quoted as saying, adding that he had not been aware of the school policy.
"My son feels terrible about this. No one has the right to confiscate anyone's property in this way. It's just like stealing mail," he added.
Most of the comments posted on Sydsvenskan's website appeared to take the father's side.
"For God's sake, let the children invite who they want!" one poster wrote.
Some, however, backed the school's decision.
"He could have handed out his invitations after school or sent them in the mail. Then this would not have happened," another poster wrote, adding that the school "had to do this, or the children (who are not invited) would feel bullied."
The parliamentary ombudsman is scheduled to rule in the case on September 8.
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