Boobies Bracelets Can’t Be Banned In Schools, Federal Court Rules

Kim LaCapria - Author
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Aug. 6 2013, Updated 1:24 p.m. ET

“Boobies bracelets,” popular in breast cancer awareness literature and merchandise, have proven controversial, but school kids are not being lewd by sporting the accessories, a court ruled.

The “boobies bracelets,” like the “save the tatas” campaign, are part of a more direct breast health approach when it comes to awareness. And the issue of cancer is one that seems to inspire not only frank talk but controversy — earlier this year, a grieving family were stunned when their matching “f*** cancer” shirts got them booted from the King of Prussia Mall.

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The boobies bracelets are popular among teen girls, who often wear the ubiquitous awareness armbands day in and day out — including to school. While the message is pure, morality busybodies became incensed that teen girls were wearing the bands, and the issue worked its way to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday.

Fortunately for teens whose stake in breast cancer awareness is large, the court sided with them and deemed the “speech” involved not lewd, vulgar, disruptive, or otherwise not permissible.

Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote in a 9-5 decision unbanning boobies bracelets:

“Because the bracelets here are not plainly lewd and because they comment on a social issue, they may not be categorically banned.”

ACLU lawyer Mary Catherine Roper said the ruling was a victory for socially aware teens like the two Pennsylvania girls who prompted the appeals court review:

“It explicitly says school children talk about important things, and when they (do)… that’s the kind of speech we want to protect and promote.”

Specifically, the boobies bracelets ruling deemed that schools can’t limit social commentary like “I heart boobies,” even if it “could reasonably be deemed lewd, vulgar, plainly offensive, or constituting sexual innuendo.”

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