After two local middle school students sued their district for suspending them after they wore popular breast cancer awareness bracelets that say, “I (Heart) Boobies!” a federal court judge made a decision on Tuesday:
Let the kids wear the bracelets.
The federal court judge in Philadelphia ordered Easton Area School District to allow students to wear the logo “I Heart Boobies! Keep a Breast.”
The federal lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania on behalf of Easton eighth-graders Brianna Hawk, 13, and Kayla Martinez, 12, who were punished with in-school suspensions for wearing the breast cancer fundraising bracelets.
School officials lost the argument that the words on the bracelets were a disruptive and lewd double-entendre.
“The court’s decision confirms that schools cannot censor student speech without a good reason. A student’s freedom to speak – especially about something as important as breast cancer awareness – cannot be shut down because the student chooses words the school administrator would not choose,” said Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and lead counsel for the students.
School districts in Wyoming, Florida and California have run into similar disputes.
The bracelets are sold by a California nonprofit to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer organizations.