When Brianna Hawk, 13, and Kayla Martinez, 13, were told they would be suspended from their Pennsylvania school if they didn't remove their bracelets that read "I ♥ Boobies" on Breast Cancer Awareness Day, they weren't willing to back down. Instead they fought for breast cancer awareness and their First Amendment rights and took the case to court. This week, in a win for both, a federal judge ruled in favor of the boobies bracelets.
In her 40-page opinion, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin wrote: "The bracelets are intended to be ... viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health."
Amen, Judge McLaughlin. The fact that they were banned in the first place under a rule that prohibits "lewd" and "disruptive" expressions of speech just shows how much ignorance and shame there still is when it comes to this killer disease. Now if they said "I heart tits" or something, that would be one thing, but boobies is about as G-rated as you can get when you're talking breasts. And we NEED to talk about breasts.
The judge provided a preliminary injunction that allows the girls to go back to school with their bracelets and participate in school activities. The school district isn't happy with the ruling. Their attorney, John Freund III, told the UPI:
It is inconceivable that the court did not recognize that the bracelets were meant to titillate. There's no group more distractible than 12- to 14-year-old middle school boys.
To them, I say: Get over it. Yes, they may cause people to talk and raise awareness -- which is exactly what they're designed to do. As Shaney Jo Darden, founder of the Keep a Breast Foundation that distributes the bracelet, said upon news of the ruling:
We are educating a demographic that other organizations have not been able to reach, and speaking to them about cancer and health in a way that is authentic and inspiring. We are thrilled about the court’s decision, and hope it continues to spark thought-provoking conversations about breast health in schools and throughout the country.
Chalk one up for the boobies!
Are you glad to see that these breast cancer awareness bracelets are being allowed?
Image via loserkids.com