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British Schools Ban Best Friends: Are Best Friends Healthy?

News 2012/04/27 13:00:00
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A handful of primary (elementary) schools in south London are reportedly discouraging kids from having best friends and attempting to get them to interact in larger groups. Though The Sun, a major British tabloid, is calling the policy a "ban," it's unclear to what extent schools are taking it. Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni says the schools are enforcing the policy to "save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend."

Obviously, the policy has been met with severe criticism. Campaign for Real Education spokesman Chris McGovern explained, "Children take things very seriously and if you tell them they can’t have a best friend it can be seriously damaging to them. They need to learn about relationships." A member of the National Association of Head Teachers added, "I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre." Do you think having a best friend is a healthy part of growing up?

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Top Opinion

  • Beat Magnum True Hero 2012/04/27 14:46:02 (edited)
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    Has it ever occurred to anyone that there are some people who do not want to be friends with large groups? Being an introvert or not wanting to have a huge group of acquaintances is not a bad thing. Neither is being outgoing and overly social. Quit treating the people who don't want to be parts of big groups as freaks. Some of us feel the life getting sucked out of us if more than 10 people are in a room. I have good friends, I get along with everyone, but under the pain of being expelled, I would have told a teacher or school administrator to go to hell before giving up my best friend.

    All of the rules change the minute high school ends anyway. All of those "acquaintances" that they want these kids to have? They'll be gone from their lives 2 months after graduation. I'm still in touch with my best friends from high school and most of the time, they're closer than my actual family.

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  • dobby123 2012/06/01 04:25:31
    Friends pretty much help me through life.
  • Ryoka∞Boy 2012/05/24 12:35:48
    I have heard about this before.British teachers are morons.Having a best friend it's the best feeling.I have a best friend and he moved away when were 13,that didn't stopped me from considering him my friend.On the other hand,it gave me a place to go at summers!Haha.
  • Child of light 2012/05/08 05:36:31
    Child of light
    Having best friends are healthy and natural. Humans are by nature social creatures, and we all want that special best friend to hang out with. Humans are social creatures that seek relationships with other humans. That is a fact of life. Being ostracized and isolated from people for an extended period of time is unhealthy
  • Username? What's that? 2012/05/06 21:17:53
  • TheNigh... Usernam... 2012/05/11 03:50:41
    Kind of like the patent system.
  • Pdavid 2012/05/02 19:12:46 (edited)
    Our society values extroverts and wants everyone to be the like them, but some of us are introverts (and proud of it). Introverts don't want large groups of friends with nothing but superficial relationships to show for it. We want only a few people in our lives, people we can develop deep and profound relationships with, hopefully for life.

    This "policy" smacks of social engineering and the persons responsible should be fired from the school board (or whatever England's equivalent is).
  • Just Jenn for Now 2012/05/02 06:27:37
    Just Jenn for Now
    I'm not that social of a person. Or rather, I wasn't.

    I was your typical shy girl who didn't make many friends and was walked all over due to my timidness and my own interests rejected and/or mocked, which caused me to hide who I truly was.

    My best friend I did not meet until high school. Until then there were those who would smile and show a bit of kindness, but still wanted nothing to do with me at the end of the day. Post meeting my best friend, I was the happiest I'd ever been.

    I'd found my freedom.

    Oh and by the way, researchers... my best friend and I are closer than ever, and we've known each other for eight years. So, yeah, eat that.

    They're not just healthy. For some of us, they're necessary. Had I not found mine, I'd be that same timid, scared, miserable girl with no friends, and the bold, strong girl I really am deep down screaming to be rediscovered and freed.

    best friends hug
  • KG 2012/05/01 21:44:47
    That's "liberals" for you. Lets ban best friends, because they might get emotional if they ever move away. WHAT?!!! They want to redefine what it is to be a human, as some kind of robot, where the state controls every facet of our lives and maybe we'll never be sad. Their Freeking insane! (I wanted to use the other F word)
  • Just Je... KG 2012/05/02 06:20:03
    Just Jenn for Now
    Cute. But that's a 100% misconception about Liberals. I've seen plenty Conservatives who are against friendly gestures as simple as hugging.

    Regardless, needless to say I'm glad I don't fall into either wing.
  • Pdavid KG 2012/05/02 19:18:59
    Liberals? Really? I saw this this policy being created by the same types who expect everyone to think the same way. Everybody is expected to love sports, everybody is expected to go to church, etc. In other words, all the hallmarks of a conservative mind set.
  • mrsgrint<3 2012/05/01 07:00:57
    Every one should have a best friend 
  • Mitsurugi Chiba 2012/04/30 23:17:45
    Mitsurugi Chiba
    Best Friends are people you can trust enough to tell stuff to when you don't feel comfortable going to a parent or any other adult figure.
  • Merhabi Daham 2012/04/30 23:16:31
    Merhabi Daham
    I understand what they're trying to do, my middle school tried this to a much lesser degree, they just tried to have the teachers break up any close knit groups for class assignments and during field trips. I understand that you want kids to socialize with a wide variety of people and you don't want kids to get too dependent on friends that probably won't last very long. But yo know what? There's a reason some kids don't like to hang out, some kids are dicks. Correction: Most kids are dicks. If these two kids don't get along very well, putting them together on assignments or partnering them up on field trips will not make it better. If anything, being unable to avoid each other will cause them to resort to physical violence. Which could be avoided if you didn't try forcing the kids who hate each other together. A best friend is important, they come over to your house and you go over to there's. You trust them with all of your secrets and they do the same. That kind of trust is important, you learn what it means to trust someone that isn't direct family. I think that every child on earth could benefit from having a best friend or two, and many adults as well.
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/04/30 22:46:33
    Margaret Jacobson
    England is a great place to visit.........BUT DO NOT WANT TO LIVE THERE!!!! I went to a school that did something similar.........IT WAS VERY MEAN !!
  • Dagon 2012/04/30 22:43:01
  • ★misfit★ 2012/04/30 22:35:32
    Yes, "breakups" with best friends can be painful, but that is part of learning about relationships and life! Instead of trying to shelter kids by discouraging best friends, we should be teaching them how to cope with friendship problems of all kinds and supporting them through the tough times. Also, I wonder if this genius school has ever considered that not everyone can have a large group of friends or wishes to do so. Some of us are introverts and only connect to people one at a time. Yeah...this whole idea is just terrible.
  • Katherine 2012/04/30 22:22:42
    Sorry, but this sounds like communist nonsense.
  • Zamboni - Madoka Magica fan... 2012/04/30 22:15:40
    Zamboni - Madoka Magica fan BN0
    I'm prety sure these guys got inspred by Brave New World. These guys are crazy... Only that can explain this.
  • MacBlackadder21 2012/04/30 21:46:25
    They haven't thought about mental health properly now have they? I never personaly heard that been introduced :(
  • BreakingThrough 2012/04/30 21:46:08
    :O I am struck with shock. I don't even know what to say. Telling a kid not to have best friends to save them from the pain of losing them is like telling a kid not to apply to college so they don't have to suffer rejection, or telling them not to date because they could get hurt. I know one thing, I have a best friend and she and will hopefully be sitting next to eachother in rocking chairs in our future.
  • Chris- Demon of the PHAET 2012/04/30 21:26:45
    Chris- Demon of the PHAET
    Of course they are healthy. This is a stupid idea.
  • MayaAngelou0524 2012/04/30 21:04:50
    Heck yes! I have MANY "best friends" and many "close friends" but my Bestest Friend Forever knows me better than I do! She knows how I'm going to react to something before I do it and she does it anyway, because she knows what's best for me! Best friends of all levels are DEFINITELY necessary!
  • T. James H 2012/04/30 21:00:36
  • sally 2012/04/30 20:44:07
    What's next? Are they going to ban breathing?
  • TheNightFly 2012/04/30 20:08:43 (edited)
    Is this a joke?

    I hope this is a joke. oO

    If it's not a joke, it's an incredibly tragic example of administrative stupidity,

    and another reason why public education should be optional, not compulsory.
  • RoseyRhod 2012/04/30 20:03:58
    I really don't know, I've never had one. But I am not down with schools telling people who they can't be friends with.
  • paul 2012/04/30 19:43:05
    what's next ? banning kids from wearing school team colors during sports games ,sign siting for lunch time and etc.
  • Nameless 2012/04/30 19:28:08
    While being able to interact in larger groups is, indeed, important - it is just as important to have a best friend or two in whom one can confide when it comes to more sensitive/personal issues.
  • NarcolepticGoat 2012/04/30 19:12:02
    Generally speaking, girls tend to the best friend thing, boys to the larger circles of friends. Essentially the schools there are targeting girls.
  • scbluesman13 2012/04/30 19:09:53
    Is this some sort of sick joke?
  • prosperhappily 2012/04/30 18:58:59
    whoever is trying to ban them is an idiot.
  • AllieDot prosper... 2012/05/03 00:47:36
    agreed,whoever was the first person to think about this is way out of line.
  • ohsmith ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮ 2012/04/30 18:16:33
    ohsmith ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮
    HOW dare they! BF are support and love ones!
  • Luna Wren 2012/04/30 17:41:55
    Luna Wren
    Yes, I think they are. And speaking from experience, losing a Best Friend isn't as bad after the fifth time.
  • t.eliot, topbard 2012/04/30 17:05:16
    t.eliot, topbard
    The concept of banning best friends is utterly absurd.
  • CAA_coffeeaddict 2012/04/30 16:26:25
    Your best friend is the one you share everything with the one who helps keep you sane...
  • BrianD3 2012/04/30 16:25:44
    what sort of drug induced progressive crap is this?
  • KenjaiRo 2012/04/30 15:55:08
    Wow. Another attempt to isolate us and eliminate loyalties to anyone but the state.
  • BrianD3 KenjaiRo 2012/04/30 16:26:29
    good call
  • POWERSHAKER 2012/04/30 14:07:14
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