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Schools Don’t (Heart) ‘I (Heart) Boobies’ Bands

November 4, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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They’ve been banned in schools across the country. They’ve drawn attention from the American Civil Liberties Union, which has threatened to sue at least one school district over its decision to ban. And they’re doing exactly what they were intended to do.

They’re inch-wide rubber bracelets, in various colors, that say “I love boobies”—well, actually, “i (heart symbol) boobies.” The Keep A Breast Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Carlsbad, California, uses them as a tool to, as the foundation’s Web site says, “increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.”

The Web site continues:

The purpose of Keep A Breast’s ‘I Love Boobies!’ Campaign is to speak to young people in their own voice about a subject that is often scary and taboo.

The campaign itself has become taboo among lots of school administrators. The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reported this week that the ACLU has threatened to sue the Eastern Area School District if it doesn’t allow students to wear the bracelets.

That’s just the latest in a long string of clashes between school authorities and students over the bracelets. The Associated Press reported on Kollin West, a 14-year-old student at Laramie (Wyoming) Junior High School, who began wearing the bracelet after noticing women being treated for breast cancer at a hospital where his father was undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer. When school officials objected (though they didn’t object to girls wearing the same bracelet), West said the authorities “were taking it in an immature way.”

Immaturity is the point, according to Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville, Utah. KSTU-Fox 13 TV in Salt Lake City quoted the school’s newsletter as saying: “Wearing bracelets such as these opens up dialog between students that most adolescents are neither sophisticated nor mature enough to handle appropriately. By disallowing them, we are eliminating the temptation to have inappropriate and potentially sexually harassing conversations.”

So the bracelets are fulfilling their intended purpose: to get young people talking about breast cancer (and to raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation, which sells the bracelets for $3.99 apiece or six for $22.99). From a typical kid’s perspective, if the bracelets also annoy parents, teachers, and other authorities, then so much the better.

Keep A Breast’s Web site points out that girls as young as 10 have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that in young women, “breast cancers are generally more aggressive, diagnosed at a later state, and result in lower survival rates.”

As for the attempts by authorities at Eisenhower Junior High at “eliminating the temptation for adolescents to have inappropriate and potentially sexually harassing conversations,” good luck with that.

Related seminar: Pittsburgh Breast Imaging Seminar

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2 Responses to “Schools Don’t (Heart) ‘I (Heart) Boobies’ Bands”

  1. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Reasons To Be Thankful, Or At Least Amused on November 25th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    […] who were punished for wearing wristbands that say “I (heart symbol) Boobies.” As we detailed earlier this month, a California nonprofit organization is distributing the wristbands in order to get young people […]

  2. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Court OKs ‘Boobies’ Breast Cancer Bracelets on April 20th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    […] the big deal about these inch-wide rubber bracelets? As we reported back in November, it’s the “lewd and vulgar” message they carry that drove the Easton […]