NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Growing up, your best friend is the person who is always there for you and the one you share all your secrets and exploits with.

But now there’s a growing movement to ban best friends.

The movement isn’t a ban on friendship, it’s just geared towards having children broaden their friendship circles and become more inclusive.

It’s a move a lot of educators think goes in the right direction.

Rumored to have first started in Prince George’s South London school this push to breakup best friends 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.”

And while it may be raising some eyebrows 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.

The point is to teach children to be inclusive at an early age rather than exclusive, Greenberg said.

“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.”

He believes having a wider group of friends also sets children up for success.

“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.”

Greenberg is also a fan of assigned seats at lunch, so no child is left alone.

Comments (42)
  1. Good Grief. . . How stupid can they be to think you can legislate speech? The kids will find a way around it.

  2. That’s understandable, because they don’t want other kids to feel excluded. Possibly also want to make sure clicks don’t start. Most school shootings are kids who felt secluded and outcasted.

  3. Just another proof again that school admins and teachers are brainless idiots.

    1. Mary Ward says:

      I am a teacher and not an idiot. Blame the idiot political correct snowflakes. No teacher should support this.

  4. It’s none of their business who anybody’s best friends are. This is so Orwellian it’s outrageous!

  5. Of more concern than life’s inequities are those with this authoritarian mindset that they are the chosen few who feel they know what is best for the rest of us. We should make sure that they are excluded from positions of authority.

  6. Liberals ruin everything. Everything.

  7. James Quirk says:

    Leave free will alone. People do what they do for a reason and no amount of tinkering will change it.

  8. Have these lefties lost their minds? Yes.

  9. Just when one believes that progressive lunacy has reached its depths, a story like this comes along.

  10. Dan Tige says:

    BFFs will now be referred to a MPFAE… most preferred friend among equals.

  11. Bob Stevens says:

    These are rules created by losers who had no friends who now seek power to punish normal people. I’m sorry you were a loser that had no friends, but you may not now punish the rest of us for not being losers. It’s incredibly sad to be so resentful and self loathing that you must make everyone else feel that way, sheesh.

  12. Paul Marc says:

    This must be a sick totalitarian joke.

  13. Would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so sad and destructive.

  14. Hahahahahah! Public schools. What a f’king joke. Nominal humans making school a ‘social experiment,’ instead of teaching the basics. Idiots.

  15. John Pepin says:

    A ban on introverts…

    Because who is the best to make all our decisions than the government?

  16. Doug Day says:

    All individuals…go to the closet !

  17. Schools are a form of government (for the confused readers).

    Government overreach is obscured as per this example. Some half baked educator thinks they know everything and can solve things – hog wash. People make friends and some friendships are stronger than others. BFF is a fact of nature and extremely important to so many. Removing this will cause great hard.

    The point is too may progressive half wits want to do things that bring about harm. I contend taht the real danger are the progressives who think they know all when in fact they only have an unfounded opinion.

  18. Keith Powell says:

    Yeah, this will go well..having the government dictate who your friends are and how friendly you can e with them. Are we not human anymore?

  19. illinoisatlarge says:

    Possibly the best example of Orwell’s government group think in decades.

  20. I don’t want the schools to do this. But – I have a six year old son and I’ve told him that it’s better to not say that someone or other is his ‘best friend’ (even if they are) because his other friends might be unhappy to learn that he likes someone else better. Best to just tell them all that they are his friends and not rank them.

  21. Doug Forbes says:

    These people should be locked up and tortured every day

  22. This guy is my bbm. (Best Bowl movement)

  23. dt60093 says:

    They can go ahead and ban the phrase, “best friend”. When I was in several different elementary schools, I do not remember males using the phrase, “best friend”, at all. There was usually someone I would go with to the movies, to the ice hockey rink , bowling or to play baseball (baseball meant getting 6 to 10 guys together). I have no memory of any relationships among the females because we avoided them. I don’t know if they had best friends or not, but their presence put a severe damper on our language and the subjects about which we talked. In those days, girls were offended by “bad” words. My choice of close friends was determined by similar interests and activities. Eventually, puberty changed things.

  24. PARENTS!!! This is another glaring example of the child abuse going on in government schools. Get your children out of the abusive brainwashing environment they’re in now. Find an excellent charter or private school for them. Or better yet, home school them yourself using the amazing resources that are available now. Your kids have no chance at all if you leave them where they are in the rotten government schools.

  25. Dan Deal says:

    WOW! Don’t let these idiots have their way.

  26. Schools need to butt out of our business!

  27. Ron Lewis says:

    It should be a crime to send one’s children to public schools.

  28. Why do parents let liberals ruin their children…without adult supervision they grow up to be whiny college students and SJWs with gender identity problems and man buns..

  29. Rob Carter says:

    “Greenburg is also a fan of assigned seating at lunch, so no child is left alone.” going out on a limb here…but this guy didn’t have many friends at school. I blame the parents of the 90’s for this madness…holy Big Brother social and mind control…

    1. The parents, the presumed adults in this situation, are stupid for allowing one person to dictate what’s best for their children. Liberal whine and moan about imaginary fascism in the White House, but turn both blind eyes to the real fascism going on in the schools.

  30. When you enter (force) an arbitrary into the natural order of things it always results in chaos, which is maybe the point.

  31. Kim Johnson says:

    WTH? This has got to be a joke.

  32. Yet another well-intended socialist solution: Since not ALL have best friends, why not ban it.

    The right way is of course to say to the kids having best friends: “See how nice it is to have friends? Let us make sure ALL kids are included, and have friends.”

  33. Dare I say these “experts” are clueless as to why there is an epidemic of depression and related disorders in children. Me thinks they might not have a clue about much. I suppose I will just consider things like this as the most subversive campaign to promote homeschooling.

  34. So the way to help those who do not have best friends is to ban others from having them? And to ban the use of the phrase “best friends”? Madness.

  35. Sam Dennis says:

    The silliness marches on….Anything that will destroy the ‘American’ culture seems to capture the minds of educators who apparently have nothing else to do!

  36. Gail Murphy says:

    How much more interference and engineering into an individual’s life will there be? Most ridiculous thing ever. No entity or individual can tell you with whom you can associate personally. These kids know the concept of ‘team’ effort. Leave it at that and let them be who they want to be and associate with whom they wish. Good grief, where does the indoctrinate end?

  37. Don’t you just love big brother? They love to control everything, don’t they?

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