By Mike DeNardo
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — It’s a victory for the Easton, Pa.-area schoolgirls who wore “I (heart) Boobies” bracelets.
The US Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of the Easton Area School District, which sought to ban two students — Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk — from wearing rubber “I (heart) Boobies” bracelets to promote breast cancer awareness.
The justices today left in place a federal appeals court ruling striking down a ban on the bracelets. The ban was put in place by the Easton Area School District, which says the breast-cancer awareness bracelets are lewd in their use of sexual innuendo.
“As we pointed out to the Supreme Court, whether it’s patently or ambiguously offensive, it’s still offensive,” school attorney John Freund says.
But the US Third Circuit appeals court ruling upheld the seventh- and eighth-grade students’ First Amendment rights, according to attorney Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU, which helped the girls with their legal appeal.
“The lower court’s decision, which has now been left to stand by the United States Supreme Court, was always premised on the fact that there was not disruption from these bracelets,” she said today. “If there had been disruption from the bracelets, it would have been different.”
Easton is one of several school districts around the country that banned the bracelets, which are distributed by the nonprofit Keep A Breast Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif.
Roper says the girls, both now in high school, wear their bracelets every day.