Many high schools across the country are banning breast cancer awareness bracelets with the phrase, “I love boobies,” after being deemed inappropriate by school officials.
We at The Butler Collegian believe that students should be allowed to wear these bracelets with pride and without contest.
According to a Sept. 1 article in USA Today, the bracelets, created by Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB) out of Carlsbad, Calif., have been banned in at least five states.
While some schools banned the bracelets completely, some still allow students to wear the bracelets inside out, defeating the message.
But this message is too important for this kind of treatment. Breast cancer is a serious disease that wreaks serious havoc on women and their families. We are not just impressed that students are spreading awareness amongst their peers, we are amazed.
In a generation that thinks itself invincible, we are proud to see students, as young as middle school, stepping up and spreading the word to their friends and classmates about a cause that has been close to many of them.
This is a cause that can hit home, even at a young age.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), “The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman’s life is a little less than 1 in 8.”
The ACS has also found that the chance a breast cancer patient will be alive five years after diagnosis is lower in women under 40.
With such staggering statistics, we think that it is good that someone is targeting a younger generation, which is the goal of KAB. Students are spreading positive awareness, so why would it matter how it is spelled out on a bracelet?
Not only do the “boobie” bracelets ignite awareness, they spark conversation, which is exactly their purpose.
In the USA Today article, KAB founder Shaney Jo Darden said, “That’s the whole idea, it’s getting people to talk about breast cancer, it’s getting people to share their feelings about how this disease has impacted their life,” she says. “The bracelet is doing what it’s meant to do — it’s making people talk.”
By not allowing some students to wear bracelets to support the cause, the schools are impeding the student’s right to free speech.
In Tinker v. Des Moines, a case in the 1970s where students protested the Vietnam War by wearing black arm bands to school, the Supreme Court sided with freedom of expression, letting students where the arm bands. That same standard should apply to students today and the “I love boobies” bracelets.
The case states, “In wearing armbands, the petitioners were quiet and passive. They were not disruptive and did not infringe upon the rights of others.”
Though we are sure schools would recognize the fact that these bracelets are used for a good cause, they are clearly not disruptive.
These kids are teenagers; they have heard the word “boobie” before.
And they are acting advocates for their community. Their devotion is something we should applaud.
Let the students have the freedom they deserve.
If students are mature enough to spread awareness and support a cure for breast cancer, they are ready to wear an “I love boobies” bracelet.