Is a "best friend forever" an outdated societal trend? Should kids be discouraged from having that close relationship where finishing another person's sentences is habit?
According to Hilary Stout's New York Times article on June 16, a growing number of adults who work with children are attempting to restrain the personal social interactions between two bonding kids in effort to break down bullying and encourage general social group friendships.
While teens acknowledge the good intentions of this theory, most favor its opposition: best friends are important in life.
"It's an important relationship to cultivate," said Tyler Loucky, a senior at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Besides that, George Washington High School junior Yvonee Chueh is skeptical about the effectiveness of the practice. "I don't think it's a good idea for schools to discourage best friends since it would never work. If two people share common interests and genuinely appreciate the presence of one another, the friendship would not be faded just by schools discouraging it."
An argument in favor of banning best friends is that having one special friend creates possessiveness and can lead to social pain.
But Loucky contended, "If relationships are intervened in and nothing ever happens, then people can't learn how to make up and work through their problems to become friends again," behaviors that are thought to be necessary life skills.
"People are going to make best friends anyway," he said. "And we all need someone really close to us that we can talk to about anything. You can have a lots of good friends and still have a best friend."
The idea of "many good friends and a best friend" is a happy medium that professionals seem to be in tune with as well. Several teachers quoted in the New York Times article say they support special bonds between young people, but do mediate when pain to one party or others in the classroom is noticed.
Kelsey Ferguson, a junior from Cleveland Heights High School in Cleveland believes that professionals should not get carried away, however.
"I don't believe that schools should discourage best friends," she said. "I do think they should advocate joining as many social groups as possible so that you have more friends and the friendships you make will last.