Local Elementary School Installs Bench for Kids With No Friends
Lakeview Terrace Elementary School got a donation from Home Depot to install a "buddy bench." They have good intent, but I worry this could go very, very wrong.
The Moses Lake school's administration had this idea: if we tell kids to sit on the bench when they need friends to play with, kids will invite that child and no one will be sad and lonely at recess.
If they train the students well to watch the bench and be sure to include anyone who sits on it, this could work very, very well. But here's my concern: kids don't always see things the way they're "supposed" to.
For example: "Resource" and the "short bus" were never intended to single kids out for derision. And yet both fixtures had to be completely re-invented. Taking turns picking kids for your team was never intended to make the last kid picked feel like a loser, but they often do.
So if you tell people who are lonely to sit on the "I have no friends" bench, it could go very, very wrong.
Or what about kids who love drama trying to send a message to their peers: "If this game doesn't go my way then I'm sitting on the buddy bench and finding NEW friends!"