It really shouldn’t have gone this far, but it appears that the controversy of middle school kids wearing breast cancer support bracelets may be going to the Supreme Court. Yes, the Supreme Court.
Here is the Cliffs Notes version; back in 2010 a couple of girls (then aged 12 and 13) in Easton, Pa. wore “I Heart Boobies” bracelets ( from the Keep a Breast Organization) on Breast Cancer Awareness Day in defiance of the school’s ban on the bracelets. And while the students – Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez – intended to just raise awareness, they were actually suspended. The girls fought the suspension and a lower court voted in favor of the girls. Last August, it went to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where they ruled, yet again, in favor of the girls.
But the Easton, Pa., school board is not laying down on this one, they decided this week to challenge a federal court’s decision that deemed the the “I Heart Boobies” bracelets are not lewd material. It’s now being said that they may go to the Supreme Court for another ruling. The girls are being supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“I think what this case is really about is: Who should be able to decide what is or is not lewd or improper expression in the context of a public school,” said John E. Freund III, the school district’s attorney.
The school doesn’t see the bracelets as just a statement for breast cancer awareness but rather the bracelets are – as Superintendent John Reinhart says a- “cause-based marketing energized by sexual double-entendres.”
“I’m just really surprised that they’re so determined to fight this speech case of all speech cases,” said Mary Catherine Roper to the Washington Post. “(The bracelets) didn’t cause any problems in the school.”
This isn’t the only lawsuit that has come from the bracelets, there have been, as USA Today states, at least three other lawsuits trying to ban the bracelets.
And you know what? I find this whole thing so ridiculous and a waste of time, energy and school resources. The girls had the best of intentions when wearing the breast cancer awareness bracelets. Yes, they may have broke the school rules but there are far more egregious acts going on in our schools that should come to the forefront and could be fought over. Since they did go against the school policies, it does make sense that there would be some sort of repercussions. Couldn’t they just get detention? To have the case go that far seems so misguided, I think the school board need to fight a new – more important – battle.
Photo Source: Tillys – Bracelet available for $3.99