By Gary Brode, WBZ-TV

GEORGETOWN (CBS) – Julia Hartwell loves her dolls, arts and crafts and like most four-year-olds, she has a best friend. However, that’s not a term Julia can use at Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown.

Her mother, Christine Hartwell says, “The teacher told her she couldn’t say that there in school.”

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Christine Hartwell calls it “ridiculous.”

“Children who are four years old speak from their heart,” she says. “They should be able to call kids anything loving. You’re my best friend. You’re my best pal.”

The Georgetown preschool offered an explanation to Julia’s parents. Saying the term best friend “can lead other children to feel excluded” and it “can ultimately lead to the formation of “cliques” and “outsiders.”

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The preschool wrote, they “encourage children to have a broader group of friends, and foster inclusion at this particular age.”

Hartwell says, even though it has been more than a month since the incident at school, it’s still sticking with her daughter.

“Even now, she goes to say it in a loving way, I’m going to see my best friend Charlie or this one or that and she looks at me sideways,” Hartwell says. “She’s checking in with me to see if it’s OK.”

WBZ reached out to Pentucket Workshop Preschool for comment. So far, we have not heard back.

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UPDATE 4/26: Preschool Says No Policy Bans ‘Best Friends’