'Boobies' Bracelets Aren't Lewd: Court

They're about breast cancer awareness

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2013 11:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – If kids at a Pennsylvania middle school want to wear bracelets declaring their love for boobies, the district has no right to stop them, a federal appeals court says. Two teens were suspended for wearing bracelets reading "I Heart Boobies"—a breast cancer awareness slogan—during their school's Breast Cancer Awareness Day. They took the Easton Area School District to court in 2010, backed by the ACLU. After a lower court ruled in the girls' favor, the school appealed; now the federal appeals court has ruled 9-5 in the girls' favor as well, the AP reports.

"Because the bracelets here are not plainly lewd and because they comment on a social issue, they may not be categorically banned," the judges' decision says. The dissenting judges countered that the majority had wrongly reasoned that schools cannot limit student speech involving social commentary, even if it "could reasonably be deemed lewd, vulgar, plainly offensive, or constituting sexual innuendo." Easton officials have 90 days to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In this Feb. 20, 2013 photo, Easton Area School District students Brianna Hawk, 15, left, and Kayla Martinez, 14, display their bracelets for photographers outside the US Courthouse in Philadelphia.
In this Feb. 20, 2013 photo, Easton Area School District students Brianna Hawk, 15, left, and Kayla Martinez, 14, display their bracelets for photographers outside the US Courthouse in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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