It's true.  Some schools in Great Britain have adopted rules against children having a "best friend."   The school officials say the goal is to keep children from getting upset if and when their best friend fails or drops out of school.

Pupils are instead taught and encouraged to play in large groups.


Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni says the "No Best Friend Allowed" policy is now in use in several areas around London.  She says teachers are telling children "they shouldn't have a best friend and that everyone should play together. They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend."

Sbuttoni says this is just pure nonsense. "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."

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans.  Hobby says it's just bizarre. "I don't see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives."

The Campaign for Real Education, which wants more parental choice in state education, says the "ridiculous" policy is robbing children of their childhood.  A spokesman says "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."

via Schools ban children making best friends | The Sun |News.

So some British school officials think it's a bad thing for children to have "best friends", because they may get upset when the friendship breaks up, or when the friend flunks out of school.

Where in the world do people who think like that come from?  And how in the world did they rise to decision making levels in the schools?