The court battle over “I (heart) Boobies!” bracelets could head to the US Supreme Court. The bracelets are designed to promote breast cancer awareness among youth and young adults, but the Easton Area School District is less than thrilled about their students wearing them.
The battle began in 2010 when two girls, then ages 12 and 13, challenged the school’s ban on the bracelets. Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, explained that they just wanted to promote awareness of the disease at their middle school.
However, the school’s administrators didn’t see it their way. Instead, The Washington Post reports that the girls were suspended for defying the ban on their school’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals was the last body to rule on the subject.
In August, the court upheld a lower court’s decision in favor of the girls, explaining that the district didn’t prove the “boobies” bracelets are disruptive in the classroom. In response, the Easton Area School District board voted on Tuesday night to appeal the federal court’s decision.
NBC News notes that Superintendent John Reinhart supported the board’s 7-1 decision. He explained, “The Third Circuit Court has compromised administrators’ abilities to intervene in what is and what is not appropriate in school.”
Reinhart spoke during court sessions as well, calling the bracelets “cause-based marketing energized by sexual double-entendres.” The board’s decision to appeal the case to the Supreme Court wasn’t surprising for the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped the girls challenge the ban against the breast cancer awareness bracelets.
An attorney for the ACLU explained that the board hinted it would petition the Court. Mary Catherine Roper explained, “I’m just really surprised that they’re so determined to fight this speech case of all speech cases. [The bracelets] didn’t cause any problems in the school.”
The only board member to vote against the appeal, Frank Pintabone, commented that the district needs to drop the matter. Pintabone added, “I think we should be done with it. Let it go. We lost 20, 30 times, I don’t even know anymore.”
Do you think the school district is right to take the “boobies” bracelet court fight all the way to the US Supreme Court?