Supreme Court Bracelets Ban: 'I Heart Boobies' May Get Hearing

Image: Supreme Court Bracelets Ban: 'I Heart Boobies' May Get Hearing

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 08:18 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A Pennsylvania school district agreed to take a fight for its "I Heart Boobies" bracelets ban to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The decision continues a 2010 fight from when the Easton Area School District suspended students Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk from its middle school for wearing the bracelets, distributed by the nonprofit Keep A Breast Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif., to promote breast cancer awareness among young people, reported the Easton Express-News.

The girls fought the decision, with the help of Pennsylvania's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing the suspensions violated the girls' constitutional rights, according to the Express-Times.

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The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia agreed with Martinez and Hawk in August, rejecting the school district's claim that the slogan was lewd and that it failed to prove that the bracelets were disruptive.

"Because the bracelets here are not plainly lewd and because they comment on a social issue, they may not be categorically banned," federal appeals Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote in the 9-5 decision in August, according to The Associated Press.

The Express-Times reported that the Easton school board voted 7-1 Tuesday tonight to allow district solicitor John Freund to file a petition to the highest court in the country.

"The Third Circuit Court has compromised administrators' abilities to intervene in what is and what is not appropriate in school," Superintendent John Reinhart told the Express-Times.

The board's lone dissenter, Frank Pintabone, told the Express-Times that school district has spent enough money in its unsuccessful attempts to make its case in court.

"I think we should be done with it," Pintabone told the newspaper. "Let it go. We lost 20, 30 times, I don’t even know anymore."

ACLU attorney Mary Catherine Roper told the AP that she found it curious that the school district would continue the fight against the former middle school students.

"I'm just really surprised that they're so determined to fight this speech case of all speech cases," Roper told the AP. "(The bracelets) didn't cause any problems in the school."

Freund told the Express-Times that the school district and organizations like the National Association of School Psychologists and the National School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania School Board Association are "concerned about the implications of a hyper-sexualized environment."

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Related stories:

Breast Cancer Drug Gets Approval for Use in Europe, Japan

'Unnatural' Hair Color Gets Teen Suspended From Utah School

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