Same or Separate Classes?
At the start of each school year I receive requests from a good number of unhappy parents whose young twins are being placed in separate classrooms. Parents say that despite explaining to school administrators that their twin children work well together, enjoy each other's company and/or do not wish to enter a new situation on their own, school officials remain unsympathetic. Their reasoning is unusually that twins kept together will fail to develop a sense of individuality. Therefore, I was gratified that parents in Minnesota took it upon themselves to have this policy changed. They did so by engaging the interest and support of a state senator and his legislative assistant who were also parents of twins. The outcome was a new bill that passed unanimously through the Minnesota House (130-0) and Senate (64-0). Since then many other states have passed, or are trying to pass similar legislation; see twinslaw.com.
I firmly believe that there should be no single school placement policy for twins, just as there is no single placement policy for non -twins. Interestingly, research shows that when non-twins attend school for the first time with friends, they are more independent and more engaged in activities. No one is concerned that these children will not develop a sense of individuality. There are many options that teachers can exercise if twins stay together, such as having them work in separate groups or sit at separate tables. Often they just need to be aware of where the other one is. This is more common among identical then fraternal twins, but can be true of twins of any type.