…and that has to stop. E. D. Kain writes in the Washington Examiner about the latest absurdity to come out of the education establishment: the idea that it’s bad for children to have a best friend. The New York Times reports,
Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.
“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”
A commenter at the Washington Examiner fills in some details:
My son (entering 4th grade) informed me that at his elementary school the kids are supposed to list their best friends, and then the following year the school makes sure they are not in the same classes.
I told him to list the kids he liked least. And that he was learning a valuable lesson about the public schools, akin to what happens when you are honest about accidentally bringing a pocket knife. It’s a sad, sick world.
I’ve almost always had a best friend, and I remember with sadness those years in my life when I or a best friend moved away and I didn’t have anyone in whom I could confide. (Sixth and seventh grade, after the Penicks moved away, come to mind.) Is that really what we want for our children?
My daughter notes an irony: why is it that Leftists, who are the first to defend Darwin when creationism, intelligent design, etc., rear their heads, are most willing to substitute their own ideological convictions for the human sentiments and instincts that have evolved over many thousands of years? Those who defend evolution in name are the least likely to defend it in practice.