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The “I Heart Boobies” Case Could Decide the Fate of Free Speech for Students

This week, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, ruled in a longstanding case about the appropriateness of silicone bracelets inscribed with “I ? boobies!” in schools. The bracelets are sold around the country by the Keep A Breast Foundation to raise awareness for breast cancer research.  Often, students wear the bracelets to support family members struggling with the disease. But across the country, schools have banned the bracelets as offensive sexual speech, confiscated them, and suspended students for wearing them. In some schools, officials reportedly snip them right off. The constitutional question is whether the bracelets are lewd sexual speech that proves distracting and disruptive in schools, or a political symbol of support for breast cancer awareness.

Two middle school students in Easton, Penn., wore the bracelets (with their parents’ permission) despite a school ban that called them “distracting and demeaning.” The girls were suspended and banned from participating in extracurriculars.

More at Slate

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