You’ve Got a Friend…

…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.

2 thoughts on “You’ve Got a Friend…

  1. The Left, in the end, wants people to be less reliant on themselves and more dependent on (public) institutions. In the most repressive, totalitarian states- and these don’t have to be Communist, necessarily- your associations come under constant scrutiny. The left also doesn’t like marriage and is happy to see it eroded on all fronts, because the family is a source of economic and emotional support that makes it independent from state interference. That is why the no-fault divorce laws have been such a disaster for civil liberties (think about it: a citizen can be stripped of his parental rights and his home without due process on the say-so of one party in the marital “contract”) The fewer bonds you have with actual people, the more support you need from the state. Do I really have to mention the Great Society? Didn’t think so.

    Of course, telling kids that having best friends is bad is extremely cruel. But so much of their agenda is very, very bad for kids.

  2. Thanks for putting this in broader perspective. Absolutely right– family, love, friendship, churches, private associations of all kinds, have to be undermined to promote the greater power of the state. All of Burke’s “little platoons” have to be disarmed and disbanded. What a vision!

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