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Should Preschools Ban the Term Best Friend?

This Preschool Banned the Term "Best Friend" — Would You React Like This Mom Did?

Christine Hartwell, a mom from Georgetown, MA, is looking for a new preschool after her 4-year-old daughter, Julia, was told by teachers at Pentucket Workshop Preschool she couldn't use the term "best friend" to refer to another student in her class.

According to Boston 25 News, Julia came home from school visibly upset after she was reprimanded by a teacher for using the phrase — and her mom is completely outraged.

"How do you police a four-year-old from expressing their feelings? It's outrageous, it's silly, [and] it hurts," she said. "When I asked her what was wrong she said she was really sad about what her teacher did that day."

Christine and her husband asked the school's staff why the term was banned, considering it's not an official rule in the handbook. The director of Pentucket Workshop Preschool issued the Hartwell family a letter with the following explanation as to why they discourage children from using the phrase: "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.'"

For Julia's mom, the school's response wasn't good enough. "I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should."

Would you be OK with your child's preschool banning the term "best friend"?
Yes! Fostering inclusivity is so important at this age.
No! Kids should be able to express their own feelings.
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