Massachusetts Preschool Tells Kids To Stop Saying 'Best Friend'

posted by Bill Galluccio -

A Massachusetts preschool is coming under fire for telling young children they are not allowed to use the term "best friend" because it can make "children to feel excluded."  One parent blasted Pentucket Workshop Preschool, where tuition can cost over $38,000 per year after her daughter come home sad after being told by a teacher she could not use the phrase

"She said you know so-and-so, you're my best buddy. The teacher told her that she couldn't say that there in school,"

Now, Julia is worried about saying best friend even when she is at home. 

"Even now she goes to say it in a loving way -- 'I'm going to go see my best friend Charlie' or this one or that one -- and she looks at me sideways as she's saying it, and she's checking in with me to see if that language is OK," Hartwell said.

Christine Hartwell spoke with Fox25 Boston about the policy. 

"How do you police a four-year-old from expressing their feelings?" said Hartwell. "It's outrageous, it's silly [and] it hurts."

The policy is not listed in the school handbook, but after Christine and husband went to the school to speak with the director, they received a letter from the school defending the unofficial policy. 

"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,'"

The letter said that the school has no intention of changing their policy and Christine said she is pulling her daughter from the school.

"I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should," said Hartwell.

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