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Judge in Indiana upholds school's right to ban vulgar jewelry

Aug. 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled an Indiana high school has the right to ban the wearing of jewelry bearing vulgar messages.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Joseph VanBokkelen came in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a Fort Wayne high school student whose "I (heart) boobies" bracelet in support of breast cancer was taken away, The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette reported.

In his ruling, the judge took issue with the plaintiff's argument that high school students are mature enough to be exposed to the slogan on the bracelet.

"The evidence in the record reveals a low maturity level at the school," the judge wrote. "The school could therefore reasonably conclude that the bracelet contained sexual innuendo that was vulgar within the context of North Side High School."

A spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Community Schools said the district is pleased with Judge VanBokkelen's decision.

The Indiana ACLU has not determined whether it will appeal the decision.

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