04/04/2013 12:13 pm ET Updated Apr 05, 2013

Justin Bieber Concert Prompts Norway Schools To Postpone Exams

If faith can move mountains, perhaps Beliebers can postpone exams.

Kristin Halvorsen, Norway's education minister, basically said, "Why not?" when five schools within 230 miles of Justin Bieber's next show in Oslo decided to delay midterm exams until after the concert, agreeing that it's wiser not to compete with the pop star for fans' mindshare, according to the Associated Press.

Halvorsen explained her point in an email to the AP: "The local schools have the responsibility to schedule the local midterms, and if they think there is any reason to change the dates, they have authority to do so … We've all been 14-years-old and know that interests can be intense."

The head of one school noted that it's also better to schedule exams at a time when students are more likely to be in their seats. Roar Aasen, headmaster at Blindheim secondary school, told Agence France-Presse, "We considered that this was a battle that we could not win."

Aasen's school made its decision months ago when he learned how many of his students had already purchased tickets to see Bieber. Child welfare agencies, the Red Cross and police have reportedly been inundated with alerts about teens threatening suicide or other self harm if they don't obtain tickets. In light of this and the lingering buzz from last year's Bieber concert pandemonium, Aasen feared dozens would simply skip the exams to see their idol.

In May 2012, Bieber gave a free concert on the Oslo opera house's roof as fans fought for prime position. The mob filled streets, closed bridges and injured 88 people, according to Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper.

This year, buses are scheduled from 22 cities to try to prevent a transportation nightmare as thousands flood into Oslo for the mid-April concerts.

Maureen Downey, an education writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stuck a needle in any ballooning hopes of American Beliebers that Norway's example might follow Bieber back to the states.

"No government official in the United States would shrug off a decision by schools to reschedule exams so students could attend a Justin Bieber concert. Such a decision here would be met with indignant speeches about skewed priorities," she wrote.


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