While Sweden's parliament was on the right side of this dispute, you would think it might have more important things to do than get involved in a fight over who should be invited to an eight-year-old's birthday party. I know Sweden is neutral and everything, but still.
The primary nonsense was committed in May by elementary-school officials, who confiscated all the party invitations after learning that the boy left out two of his classmates. The school said it had an "unwritten policy" that all children, or at least all children of the relevant gender, had to be invited to any party for which invitations were handed out at school. The birthday boy had left out two classmates, for what his father said were perfectly good reasons.
"One of them did not invite my son to his birthday [party] and the other has bullied my son for six months," the boy's father said. "You don't invite your antagonists to a birthday party." (This is why Vladimir Putin didn't get to come to the White House this year.) But since the snubs violated the unwritten policy, teachers demanded all the invitations back.
The ensuing scandal resulted in a complaint to the Swedish parliamentary ombudsman, who apparently has authority to rule on the actions of public entities such as the school. Although the report did not say what regulation or policy the school might have violated (maybe another unwritten one?), it was clear that the eight-year-olds had triumphed. "The teachers had no right to collect the invitations against the students' will," the ruling said, but also stated that the school would not be sanctioned for its actions.
If and when that party happens, I suggest that everyone be given exactly the same amount of cake.
Link: Yahoo! News