Judge rules in favor of 'boobies' bracelet

April 14, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, April 14 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled a middle school cannot punish students for wearing breast cancer awareness bracelets proclaiming a love for "boobies."

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin was a victory for Easton Area Middle School students Brianna Hawk, 13, and Kayla Martinez, 12, who were suspended for flouting the school's ban on the bracelets -- reading "I (heart) Boobies! (Keep A Breast)" -- Oct. 28, which was Breast Cancer Awareness Day, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

"The bracelets are intended to be and they can reasonably be viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce the stigma associated with openly discussing breast health," McLaughlin wrote in her ruling.

The ruling bans the school district from "suspending, threatening to suspend, or otherwise punishing or disciplining the plaintiffs for wearing the bracelets."

John Freund III, a lawyer for the school district, said he has not yet spoken with school board members about the possibility of appealing the decision.

"It is inconceivable that the court did not recognize that the bracelets were meant to titillate," Freund said. "There's no group more distractible than 12- to 14-year-old middle school boys."

The bracelets are distributed by the non-profit Keep A Breast Foundation, which focuses on breast cancer awareness among young women.

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