Back in June, a second grader in Lund was forced to take back his birthday party invitations by his teacher, because he hadn’t invited all the students in his class.
“This is accepted practice at pre-schools and school within the district presided over by the board,” wrote the council’s administrative chief manager for schools, Lena Leufstedt, in response to the ombudsman’s query.
The council said the rule was in place to ensure the equal treatment of all pupils and to prevent social exclusion and hurtful treatment.
Two students had been left off the invitation list, prompting the boy’s teacher to confiscate all the invitations. According to school rules, if a student plans to distribute invitations on school grounds, he or she must invite the entire class, or none at all.
Alternatively, invitations can be sent to all the boys, or all the girls, but simply leaving two students out is not acceptable.
The boy’s father claimed he was unaware of the school’s detailed birthday card distribution policy. While he agreed with the concept in principle, he thought it was ill-advised of the teacher to take back the invitations once they’d already been distributed.
“My son took it pretty hard. No one has the right to confiscate someone’s property in this way, it’s just like taking someone’s mail,” he told Sydsvenskan newspaper at the time.
The boy’s father then filed a complaint with the office of the justice ombudsman, which is currently investigating the matter.