Freedom of Speech – “Boobies” Bracelet Is Protected Speech
March 13, 2014
The US Supreme Court rejected on Monday an appeal from a school that suspended two students because they refused to remove bracelets promoting breast cancer awareness.
The decision ends an almost four-year-long case which was started when two girls, Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk, were suspended from their Easton Area School District middle school.
The school had banned bracelets with the slogan “I (heart) Boobies!” which were used to promote breast cancer awareness. The two girls, then aged 12 and 13, refused to take off the bracelets when asked by their principal.
Kayla Martinez and Brianna Hawk challenged the ban, saying they were trying to promote awareness of the disease at their middle school. They wore the bracelets on their school’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day and refused to take them off. The girls filed suit after being suspended from class.
The justices left in place a US appeals court ruling that found the bracelets were not “plainly lewd,” nor had they caused a disruption.