OPINION | Phil Paleologos: Total Loss of Common Sense in Schools
The folks who run the Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown, Massachusetts traumatized an innocent four-year old child, when they told her never to say "best friend" ever again in school when referring to her best buddy.
The kid came home brokenhearted, and when her mom asked her why the sad face, little Julia Hartwell said her teacher told her never to say that phrase again in school.
Christine Hartwell was outraged.
Pentucket told her that it wants to "foster inclusion," and that the phrase was a pejorative that can lead other children to feel excluded, and create cliques and outsiders.
After inquiring about this, Hartwell said the school sent her a letter stating in part, "It has been our experience (which spans decades) that the use of the term 'best friend,' even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded [...] which can ultimately lead to the formation of 'cliques' and 'outsiders.' "
A column in U.S. News & World Report in January titled "Should Schools Ban Kids From Having Best Friends?" said that there was an "emerging trend among European schools, and now some American schools as well" to ban the idea of best friends.
"My hope is that if we encourage our kids to broaden their social circles, they will be more inclusive and less judgmental. The word 'best' encourages judgment and promotes exclusion," author Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist, wrote.
Can you honestly blame Mrs. Hartwell for yanking her child out of that place? What's next to ban, the "pinky promise?"
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are soley those of the author.