(WBTV) - A preschool in Massachusetts is discouraging children from using the phrase "best friend," according to a story from CBS Boston.
According to the story, mother Christine Hartwell said Pentucket Workshop Preschool allegedly told her 4-year-old daughter that she couldn't use the words "best friend" in school.
"Children who are four years old speak from their heart," Hartwell told CBS Boston. "They should be able to call kids anything loving. You're my best friend. You're my best pal."
According to the school's website, Pentucket Workshop Preschool is a fully licensed, multi-aged daycare program serving children ages 2 years 9 months through 5 years.
The school uses a team teaching approach and serves up to 36 children at one time, maintaining a 7:1 ratio of students to teachers.
The preschool reportedly told Hartwell that the term best friend "can lead other children to feel excluded" and it "can ultimately lead to the formation of "cliques" and "outsiders."
The preschool claims it wants to encourage children to have a broad group of friends and make others feel more included.
Hartwell says that incident that happened more than a month ago still sticks with her daughter.