They want to ban best friends to make children suffer less emotional stress—because bureaucrats interfering in relationships never causes any stress.
Apparently, there’s an international fad among public school “experts” to ban best friends. Barbara Greenburg, an adolescent, child and family psychologist, writes in U.S. News, “Should Schools Ban Kids From Having Best Friends?” She starts her piece as if she’s reporting on a trend but it soon becomes clear that she is simply an advocate. And she also clearly reveals her motive is ideological.
Many of you will suggest that our kids should toughen up and will become hardier if they learn to deal with the natural shifts in friendships that are inevitable. Perhaps, there is some truth to that. However, I am concerned about the bigger picture, which includes the pain associated with exclusion and the gentle comfort associated with inclusion.[…]
My hope is that if we encourage our kids to broaden their social circles, they will be more inclusive and less judgmental. The word “best” encourages judgment and promotes exclusion.
Nowhere does Greenburg explain how ruling over students’ private thoughts, affections, and loyalties is going to cause students less emotional stress, and make them genuinely more inclusive. How can they be inclusive if no one is allowed to have any bond that they can include others in?
This is totalitarian nonsense and if is going to warp children rather than improve them.
Here’s commentary from five years ago:
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