Should Schools Ban Having Best Friends?

This was one of the hottest topics on the show this week so I thought I'd initiate more discussion on the blog.  A number of schools on the coasts -  and some in the Midwest - are banning kids from having "best friends" as a way of teaching children to be inclusive.

The first reaction by some listeners was:  is this real???  Here's the article that inspired the conversation.

I had so many questions.   Such as:  Do you think this is right?  What's the fine line between doing what is right to protect our children and simply being an overreaching nanny state? Do our best friends help in our psychological development?

Clinical Forensic Psychologist Dr. John Huber joined me to answer these questions.  Here's a summary of what he told me:

For the government to encroach upon the basic rights of children to form close bonds with peers of their choosing is an outrage. 

It is mentally healthy to have best friends. 

Best friends can form through personality symmetry, mutual thinking, and similar interests. Some friendships that are formed at an early age can last a lifetime. 

To tell children that they need to be more inclusive in their social circles and expand them is a total infringement upon the basic rights granted to us as human beings. We have the right to choose who we associate and disassociate with and because children tend to be more honest at an early age, they are more than capable of making these decisions themselves.

I THOUGHT the ban was a bad idea but was glad to have an expert back me up!

What do you think?  

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