Here we go again. More pissed-off parents, more uptight schools and more frivolous lawsuits. No, not a girl wanting to wear a sexy outfit for her yearbook or students wanting to wear yoga pants to school. This time, an eight-grade boy was wearing a bracelet to school which read, “I love boobies!”. The school told him to remove it, the boy refused, the parents are now suing.
Claiming this was a violation of the First Amendment, the boys’ parents say their child was told to remove the bracelet or face expulsion. School officials said wearing something with the word “boobies” on it was distracting and not appropriate for school.
The boys parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told WLFI news,
He was told to turn his bracelet inside out and he politely refused because it’s his right.
The “I love boobies!” campaign is part of the Keep A Breast Foundation whose mission is to “help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support.” Through various t-shirts and bracelets, they want to “increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.”
We get that. Who better to wear a bracelet that says “I love boobies!”, right?
And, assuming they are worn for the right reason, if a bracelet like this can get young people talking about a subject that is traditionally awkward and embarrassing, it’s a good thing. We all know too many lives are lost every year to this disease–45,000 in the U.S. alone. So why not develop a campaign that is fun and positive while raising awareness for breast cancer health?
The boy’s father agrees, adding:
It’s disheartening because as parents you teach your kids to stand up for what they believe in and go with what they need to do as far as their beliefs. This isn’t just for his freedom of speech. It’s for any student at that school or any other school in the state of Indiana that wants to exercise that right.
By the way, this is not the first time this bracelet has raised controversies at school. In April of last year, a Pennsylvania court ruled that “I Love Boobies” bracelets were unconstitutional and violated students’ First Amendment rights after two middle school students, with ties to breast cancer victims and survivors, were banned from wearing the bracelets to school.
In the official ruling, Judge Mary McLaughlin stated:
The bracelets are intended to be and they can reasonably be viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health. It would have been unreasonable for these school officials to conclude that these breast cancer awareness bracelets are lewd or vulgar under the Fraser standard.
Agreed! Go forth students with your freedom of speech to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Tell us if you agree.