Schools Consider Banning The Term ‘Best Friend’ In a Bid To Promote Inclusivity
A new movement to ban the term ‘best friend’ is gaining momentum in schools across America and Europe in a bid to teach children inclusivity.
Growing up, the term best friend was something that we used without second thought, yet now educators claim this may be doing more harm than good to children.
The movement isn’t a ban on friendship, it’s more about having children broaden their friendship circles and become more inclusive.
Rumoured to have first started in Prince George’s South London school this push to ban the best friends term is catching on, says clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg.
“There has been a movement in some American schools and European schools to ban the phrase ‘best friend,’” Greenberg said. “The idea of banning the phrase ‘best friends’ is a very intriguing social experiment.”
Greenberg who works with children and adolescents says there’s some good rationale behind it.
“I see kids come in all week long who are feeling dreadful because they are excluded and because they are either nobody’s best friend or their best friend has moved on,” Greenberg said.
While we don’t want children to stop making friends we do want to teach them to be inclusive at an early age rather than exclusive.
“Let’s face it, you can’t ban somebody from having a close relationship, and you can’t really ban somebody from having a best friend but what the schools are trying to do is foster the idea of kids having more than a single friend,” Greenberg said.
Jay Jacobs, who operates Timber Lake Camp, says his counselors have been fostering a more inclusive environment for years.
“That’s what we encourage at camp,” Jacobs said. “I think that there are pitfalls in just having one friend. Remember as you grow up, interests change, children go in different directions.”
“You can’t be on the soccer field and just be dealing with one child, they’re going to be interacting with a team,” Jacobs said. “It’s now about promoting kindness, looking to children to be kind to one another and to be aware of what it looks like when you’re not.”
Another movement Greenberg is a fan of is assigned seats at lunch, so no child is left alone.
What do you think? Is this a positive move to introduce into our schools or is it political correctness gone mad?