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  • The mom scoured the Pentucket Workshop Preschool handbook looking for a policy that backed up the teacher's words, but she didn't find anything.

    So she and her husband went to the director of the school about it. According to Boston 25 News, the preschool sent the Hartwells a letter stating that they'd done "research" about kids using the term "best friend" and found that it might be hurtful to other kids. The director said they were going to discourage kids from using it at school and in group settings. 

    A portion of the letter obtained by Boston 25 News read, "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.'"

    Christine Hartwell doesn't agree; she says that best friends make kids feel happier and more supported at school. The mom revealed that she was taking Julia out of Pentucket Workshop Preschool and putting her in a school where she's allowed to call people her best friend. "I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should," the mom said. 

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  • Social media was flooded with parents who wholeheartedly agree with the outraged mom.

    Many people believe that not allowing kids to have best friends for fear of hurting others will make it harder for kids to deal with disappointment and rejection. 


  • Others think that the school is "ridiculous" for banning a term that is inherently positive and innocent.

  • A lot of people pointed out that young kids use the term "best friend" for just about everyone and that it doesn't hold much weight in their lives.

  • Some actually think that the "best friend" ban at Pentucket Workshop Preschool infringes on kids' free speech rights.

  • Most people hate the preschool's ban, but a few agree that the term can be alienating.

    Pentucket Workshop Preschool definitely has their hearts in the right place. No one wants to see kids feel isolated or have them feel left out. But banning kids from calling others their best friend definitely isn't the way to combat that. The better way would be to encourage kids to try to befriend everyone, ensuring that no one is being bullied, and allowing kids to foster friendships naturally; taking away kids' ability to express themselves the only way they know how is never a good idea.