The dunderheads in the education profession apparently feel they haven't caused enough damage. Now they want to do away with best friends:
But increasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend?
[. . .]
I think it is kids' preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”
“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn't need a best friend.
[. . .]
“I don't think it's particularly healthy for a child to rely on one friend,” said Jay Jacobs, the camp's director. “If something goes awry, it can be devastating. It also limits a child's ability to explore other options in the world.”
By all means, less discourage emotional intimacy and push all these kids into having lots and lots of superficial relationships. That'll get them off on the right track! The story quotes tactful psychologists who "fear that" such an attitude will "deny children" the "strong emotional support and security" they need. Gee, ya think?