Mom Speaks Out On Preschool’s Decision To Not Allow Students Using The Term ‘best friend’


(ABC NEWS)- Is it bad to have a best friend?  One Massachusetts mother is speaking out after her child’s preschool issued a restriction on kids using the term.

Christine Hartwell told ABC News that in early March, her 4-year-old daughter Julia came home from Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown and informed her that the teacher told her that she is no longer allowed to use the term “best friend.”

Unaware that this was a new policy, Hartwell said that she spent several days reaching out to Julia’s school to find out what had ensued.

“I spoke to the assistant director and I said, ‘My daughter is very upset; before I address it with her, I need to know in the context of what happened, what was said and how did it happen,'” Hartwell recalled.

Hartwell said that the assistant director and the director of the preschool told her that Julia used the term “best friend” in a loving way, but that it can be “exclusive and hurt other children,” which is why they asked her to refrain from saying it again.


“I said, ‘Do you see [that with] this policy, this all-inclusive philosophy, my child was excluded?'” Hartwell said. “My child was shamed. My child was made to feel sad. My child was made to feel like she did something wrong.”

The preschool allegedly told Hartwell that Julia would be persuaded to not use the term “best friend” while she’s amongst a larger group of children. But Hartwell argued that her daughter is only 4 years old, and using the words “best friend” is something that she does often.

After speaking with school officials, Hartwell said she suggested having an open forum or a larger parent-teacher conference to discuss new rule of placing a ban on the term “best friend.”

Hartwell alleges that the school declined to participate or allow her to utilize the parent email list to organize such a meeting.


Hartwell said she has since pulled her child out of the preschool.


Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.

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