Saturday, July 05, 2008

An Invitation for Trouble

In a case of correctness gone wrong in Sweden, an eight year old boy's birthday party is the latest battlefront in the fight against discrimination.

The boy handed out invitations to his birthday party in class. However, he did not invite two of his classmates to his party. When his teacher noticed this they confiscated all the invitations. Apparently, since they were handed out in class time the teacher had to ensure there was no discrimination.

This is quite ridiculous. It's an eight year old boys birthday party. Young children are notoriously undiscriminating in the usual sense. Indeed the reasons for the two students not getting an invitation is that one did not invite the boy to his party (presumably those invitations weren't distributed in class) and the other was fighting with the boy. Both of those seem entirely legitimate bases for not inviting someone, if a little petty in the first case.

The school says the boy violated the children's rights by not inviting them to his party. Quite frankly I think the school doesn't have a leg to stand on. They can't control the children's activities away from school and shouldn't try to pretend that they can. They also should not be trying to pretend that they're being noble and protecting the children's rights. There are a right to many things (free speech, liberty, protection from unwarranted government intrusion, privacy, etc), but nowhere among the rights of man is the right to be invited to a party held by someone who doesn't like you.

Legal proceedings have been initiated regarding the matter, and should be resolved by September. Unless the boy is very forward thinking, I presume this will be after the party in question is held.

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