As a parent, we want our children to experience what it is like to make friends. We wish for them to have plenty of friends at school even when they are still in pre-school. This is their formative years and learning how to gain a friend is a very important milestone that they to learn on their own.
Being a parent of a preschooler, we all know that this is by far the most challenging phase of their lives. They seem to have an unlimited bank of energy and most of them are very enthusiastic to meet other kids that they can play with. Each of us has our own “best friends” at least once in our life.
It’s really nice to have someone who always has your back and a person that you can talk to about anything under the sun.
This is why when a mom from New England discovered that her daughter’s preschool recently made a rule, she was outraged by what they came up with. She shared that her daughter is always excited to go to school until this one day when everything changed.
The Pentucket Workshop Preschool is located in Georgetown, Massachusetts. This is where Christine Hartwell’s daughter is attending preschool.
The school decided one day to ban the use of the word, “Best Friend.”
Christine’s daughter was shocked when her teacher told her about this new rule. As soon as she got home, she told her mom about this. The mom was extremely annoyed and decided to take steps to remove her daughter from the school.
She told WMTW8, “I think it’s ridiculous. Children who are 4-years-old speak from their heart, so they should be able to call kids anything loving. You’re my best friend, you’re my best pal, even now she goes to say it in a loving way… and she looks at me sideways as she’s saying it and she’s checking in with me to see if that language is okay.”
Even at this very young age, kids are already facing challenges in their lives and banning this phrase can only add to their stress. For Christine, this kind of rule does not make any sense.
The school backed up their decision by explaining that by banning the phrase “best friend” they are only doing this to promote inclusivity among their students. They sent Christine a letter explaining their decision.
Part of the letter says:
“It has been our experience… that the use of the term, ‘best friend,’ even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded.”
Everybody thinks that promoting inclusivity and preventing bullying is one of the most important roles of a school, but many people believe that this does not mean that the school has the right to regulate the children’s freedom of speech. Others believe that students should have a feeling of freedom every time they go to school and this kind of rule is not necessary and beneficial.
If you think that this school is implementing unnecessary rules, then you should know that this is not new. Schools in Europe banned the concept of best friends too! However, instead of focusing on inclusivity, the supporters are claiming that this teaches the students to learn how to build a larger support system instead of relying on just one or two friends.
What do you think about these rules? Are they beneficial to kids of this generation, or not?