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Some teachers ban kids from having best friends

Several schools in the United Kingdom have implemented a rule reportedly designed to prevent children from getting their feelings hurt.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Mar 20, 2013 6:54PM

Friendships and fallouts are an essential part of childhood, but several schools in the United Kingdom think otherwise, reports The Sun.

In an absurd effort to avoid hurt feelings, schools in Kingston, South West London and Surrey are encouraging students to play in large groups and steer clear of making best friends. The devastation of losing a friend and subsequent hurt feelings are seen as too much to bear for a child who's learning how to build healthy relationships. Pass the politically correct tissues, please.

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"I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn't have a best friend and that everyone should play together," educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni told The Sun.

"They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they're learning to deal with it."

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Reality check: Over the course of nearly four decades, I've split from many close friends. Sure, it stings to have a falling-out with someone you care about. But guess what? It's part of life, and I've managed to survive with minimal childhood scars and certainly none from bygone besties.

"I don’t see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives," Russell Hobby of the National Association of Head Teachers told The Sun.

Think such a bizarre ban couldn't happen in the United States? Think again. One Maryland school district recently outlawed hugs, classroom treats on birthdays and handing out party invitations at school if the entire class is not included.

What do you think about the best friends ban?

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Photo: R. Nelson/Getty Images

Sep 13, 2013 9:25PM
these schools must be run by complete ****ing liberal **** idiots
Mar 28, 2013 2:56AM

I agree with Mary Juergins (harleyk) and Mr. Green Beans. Good posts.

But... if this must be, so that "The devastation of losing a friend and subsequent hurt feelings are seen as too much to bear for a child who's learning how to build healthy relationships." then why not expand these restrictions to include:

- not allowing children to learn to walk and run because they might fall down and get skinned kness and elbows. Oops, there go all the sports in the world, and I will miss the Olympics.

- not allowing children to learn to talk because they might say something that will hurt someone else's feelings. Oops, there goes the U.S. 1st Amendment.

Wow, it took 42 years but it appears that THX 1138 has arrived in the UK.

Mar 27, 2013 11:21PM

What a crock.  This is the same kind of thinking that created baseball games without scores, where everyone gets a trophy.  (safetyball anyone?) Competition is very normal.  Best friends are very normal.  Why can't these idiots let the kids be normal?  Just teach the damn subject matter and stop trying to brainwash them.  Let the parents do the raising.


One thing I'd like to ask these teachers:  do they have a best friend?  If they say no, they are liars (or just losers).  If they say yes, they are hypocrites.

Mar 27, 2013 8:16PM

Totally ridiculous!  What next, hate your parents? They are going to die some day, so don't bond with them, poor kids feeling won't get hurt that way. Stick to teaching courses and Common Sense! Thousands of years no one died from a lost friendship.


Mar 26, 2013 5:03PM

People, stop trying to connect this idiocy with liberalism.

For every such false analogy I could give you several factual

examples of stupidity from the right eg. wars on drugs, Iraq,

women,minorities,marriage equality, and so on.

I'm as liberal as anyone you'll find on all but a handful of issues

and I don't buy this crap.

Europe is in most other respects something the U.S. should look up

to and aspire to be, especially in terms of labor and environmental laws,

health care, and numerous social and political matters.


Mar 25, 2013 11:11PM

i have never heard of a more stupid  statement in my life .


you don't think real like doesn't hurt feelings once in a while ?

Mar 24, 2013 1:56PM

"Some teachers ban kids from having best friends"


Then they're not really qualified to be teachers then, are they?


You don't teach a child to deal with the hardships of not passing a test by not administering the test.



Mar 23, 2013 10:11PM
This is incredibly ridiculous ... so basically they're encouraging kids to have false friendships with everyone?

And then we expect them to "say no" to drugs. How are they going to do that when they're raised to accommodate everyone?
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