School board willing to take bracelet fight to Supreme Court
EASTON, Pa. – A school district’s ban on “I (heart) Boobies!” bracelets might be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Easton Area School District board voted 7-1 to appeal a federal appeals court’s decision that rejected its claim the bracelets are lewd and should be banned from school, reports the Associated Press.
There’s no word yet on whether the high court will agree to hear the appeal.
The case began in 2010 when two students, Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, challenged the school’s decision to ban the bracelets, which are designed to promote breast cancer awareness.
Hawk and Martinez rebelled against the ban by wearing the bracelets during Easton’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day. They were both suspended for their actions and reacted by filing a lawsuit.
In August, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision in favor of the girls, saying that the district could not prove the bracelets are disruptive, reports the AP.
The two students are being assisted in their suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, while the school board has the support of the National School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania School Board Association.
School district solicitor John Freund said these organizations back the board because they are “concerned about the implications of a hyper-sexualized environment,” according to the report.
Superintendent John Reinhart agrees with the board’s decision to move forward.
“The Third Circuit Court has compromised administrators’ abilities to intervene in what is and what is not appropriate in school,” he said in the report.
An attorney for the ACLU however, has a different opinion.
“I’m just really surprised that they’re so determined to fight this speech case of all speech cases,” said Mary Catherine Roper in the story. “(The bracelets) didn’t cause any problems in the school.”
The lone school board member to vote against the decision to appeal believes it’s time to drop the case and move on.
“I think we should be done with it. Let it go. We lost 20, 30 times, I don’t even know anymore,” he said.
Easton is not alone in its opposition to the bracelets. Several school boards around the country have also decided to ban them.
By Trevor TenBrink at EAGnews.org
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