(PCM) News has been announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal from the Easton, Pennsylvania area school district who are attempting to reinstate their ban on the popular breast cancer awareness bracelets that feature the slogan “I (heart) Boobies”.
This particular case between the school district and two students,who are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, has been going on for nearly three years and the ACLU is quite pleased with today’s outcome. The decision made last August by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was upheld which granted protection to student speech that may be interpreted as lewd or vulgar, but that also has a socially redeeming message.
A representative for the school district criticizes the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court’s decision claiming that the decision makes it more difficult for teachers to maintain decorum in the classroom and ensure students express themselves in an appropriate manner.
The students claim that they were wearing the bracelets to bring about awareness to fight against breast cancer and the issues of women’s health, however the school district argues that the students were only wearing the bracelets to “fit in” and only claimed to be supporting the fight against breast cancer when their mother’s put the idea in their heads after finding out the bracelets were considered prohibited from the school’s dress code policy.
The 3rd Circuit found that while school officials can ban statements that are plainly lewd or obscene, messages that might offend some, but also make a social or political statement, are protected by the First Amendment. Even if the Keep A Breast Foundation’s “I (heart) Boobies!” bracelets were lewd or vulgar, they delivered an important message about breast cancer awareness, which limits school officials’ authority to ban them
As of now the case is considered to be closed and the lawyers for the school district plan to work with the ACLU to tie up any loose ends with the students.