PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that the “I (heart) boobies!” breast cancer awareness fundraising bracelets aren’t lewd or vulgar, so it’s OK for public school students to wear them.
Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the Easton Area School District to allow two student at the middle school to wear popular breast cancer awareness bracelets from the Keep-A-Breast Foundation.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a suit in November on behalf of Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk, middle schoolers who were suspended for wearing “I ♥ Boobies!” bracelets on the school’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day. (CBSPhilly.com’s Coverage)
“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.
The EASD argued that the bracelets were inappropriate for middle school students because they are “lewd” and school officials felt they would cause some students to make inappropriate comments or become a distraction.
On Tuesday, the court concluded that “the bracelets cannot reasonably be considered lewd or vulgar” and that EASD had failed to present evidence that the bracelets had or would cause material and substantial disruption at school.
Easton is one of several school districts around the country to ban the bracelets.