Parents are Outraged After Preschool Banned the Term “Best Friend”

posted: 05/04/18
by: Kristine Boyd
Two extremely pretty, smiling young women look delighted in this double, head and shoulders portrait.

We've seen stories of kids being physically marked for low lunch money and parents being reprimanded for items they pack in school lunches. Now, certain schools are banning wildly used phrases from children's vocabulary. Recently Christine Hartwell, mom from Georgetown, MA, was told by the preschool that her daughter was not allowed to use the term "best friend" anymore at school.

Calling kids names and bullying is obviously something parents and teachers everywhere are trying to avoid. But does banning the use of "best friend" seem to take it too far? According to NY Post, the school expressed their reasoning by saying, "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 responded to this message by telling the school, "I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should."

This brings up the debate of whether this term is exclusive or an honest expression. While no parent wants their child to be a victim of exclusion, it is also an important life lesson for children to know that people are allowed to have multiple best friends. It is a concept that they will, most likely, have to accept for the rest of their lives. If we take time to teach kids that having multiple best friends is okay, maybe exclusion wouldn't be an issue.

On the other spectrum, people understand that the school is simply trying to avoid conflict and create a safe environment for the kids to thrive. This is a unique situation and parents are seeing valid arguments to both sides of this conversation.

Do you think preschools should ban the term "best friend"? Let us know in the comments and on twitter @TLCmeNow!