Supreme Court could hear the ‘Boobies’ Bracelet case

    October 30, 2013
    Lacy Wise
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The case between two teenage girls and a Pennsylvania school district may soon be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case began in 2010 when Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, now 14 and 15, were suspended from school for wearing bracelets with the phrase “I (heart) boobies” in support for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The school district had banned the bracelets from school, claiming the bracelets are lewd.

The purpose of the bracelets is to promote breast cancer awareness among younger individuals. The girls said they were hoping to promote awareness at their middle school. The district failed to prove to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that the bracelets were disruptive and the court’s decision remained in favor of the girls in August.

“The Third Circuit Court has compromised administrators’ abilities to intervene in what is and what is not appropriate in school,” Superintendent John Reinhart said.

This case is very similar to a previous case seen by the Supreme Court in 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.

Here’s the facts:

Mary Beth Tinker, 13, and her brother, John Tinker, 15, decided to wear black armbands to their schools in protest of the Vietnam War. Mary Tinker was a junior high student and John was in high school. Faculty had created a policy for students wearing armbands would be asked to remove, or if violated would be suspended. After the Tinkers and their friend Christopher Eckhardt decided to violate the policy, they were all suspended from school.

A suit was filed and was eventually heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court decided on behalf of Mary Beth Tinker, and held that faculty must have to provide the courts with valid reasons to regulate speech in a K-12 School.

The precedent states that students, nor teachers, lose their constitutional rights to “freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The Tinker test is still used in courts to decide whether actions within a school system are violating a students first amendment rights.

Moral of the story: the Court found that the actions of the Tinkers in wearing armbands did not cause disruption and held that their activity was constitutionally protected because it was symbolic speech.

Image (via) Keep A Breast Foundation.

  • Really?

    Is our country this stupid? Really? We are wasting the Supreme Court’s time over the word “boobies”.

    Schools in America are stupid. No wonder we are the dumbest nation on the planet (not really but close). We have such a problem with sex that two girls who didn’t do anything wrong are having to go to the Supreme Court. Here is the most ironic thing about all this: schools think a word is wrong when the reality is that high school kids and even middle school kids are screwing like rabbits. I guess it must be easier to concentrate on “bad” words and not the reality of life in 2013. I hate to tell those people running that school district, but the word “boobies” is not motivating your kids to have sex The fact that 14 year olds look like 24 year olds is what is motivating them to have sex. Sex has never been the function of age. It has always been a function of attraction. You could have a 20 year old sleep with a 80 year old if that 80 year old was good looking. Age has nothing to do with it. If your kids look like they are adults, they are simply going to do adult things.

    There is no hope for this country. We are such hypocrites and have such unhealthy attitudes. We made sex taboo and dirty, but that has led to us becoming the most sexual nation in the world. Our extreme conservatism has not made things better — it has made it a lot worse. Just look at the sexting, the porn industry, the adult entertainment industry, the music industry, the film industry, the sex trade, and prostitution in this country. It is out of control because we have such unhealthy attitudes. If you make something taboo — it will flourish.

    It is so sad. We should be doing amazing things like to trying to go to the stars or trying to eradicate hunger, but no, instead we are wasting time and energy on the word boobies because some prudish morons actually think that motivates sex. Idiots.

    • Yes, I Agree

      I agree with you. People in this country are very unrealistic about sex. We think that in today’s world sex is still viewed as some “special” thing. It is not. I is just like holding hands. Age has never meant anything in sex. I know a 13 year old that literally looks like a full grown woman. The only way you would even know she was 13 was if a) she told you or b) you asked her for ID, but really the thought would never cross your mind because she doesn’t look young at all. She regularly goes out with much older men because she wants to. Yet, her parents are still convinced that she is a “child”. The girl uses that to her advantage. She does what she wants to do and then when she gets in trouble she reverts back to be a “teenager”. I feel sorry for the guys she goes out with because I know she is lying through her teeth with them. You are very right — it is all about attraction and that is it.

      It the year 2013 and not 1950s but our educators still think it is the 1950s. Trust me, kids are way passed being influenced by the word “boobies”.

  • http://www.webpronews.com Bill Lee

    What does it say about our public education system when students are more in touch, informed, and mature about current social issues than the administrators and school boards that are running our schools? Schools should be about preparing our young people to face the realities and challenges of life, and health issues are one of the areas about which our kids need current, factual information. Our kids are maturing at earlier ages and we’re just kidding ourselves if we think they’re not talking about these things when adults are not around. Administrators and school boards should provide an arena in which these and other social issues can be addressed, explored, and discussed in a positive way. If our kids don’t learn about these things in school they’ll find information on the internet, not all of which will be accurate, safe, or reliable. Our kids deserve better from us.

    • Yes, I Agree

      I agree with you too. Both of these comments are good. Educators don’t deal with reality. I grew up in a small town and was shielded from the real world. When I was in high school, I had no clue what was out there in the world. (The internet really was not around then.) Today’s, kids know everything that is out there and because of this they grow up much faster. The reason why kids are more mature is because they have access to information. Our kids are simply not naive and innocent anymore because of this. They are much more advanced. What an 18 year old used to know about life a 12 year old knows now because of access to information. That is why these young girls in the article were activists in middle school.

      I come from a family of teachers, so don’t think I am talking bad about teachers. I think they are great and they actually work very hard and care. I am talking more about administrators than anything. Administrators and school boards are very out of touch with things. The world has fundamentally changed and they don’t realize it. Parents too are out of touch with reality. That is a common complaint teachers have. Parents don’t really know what is going on with their kids — but that is a different topic.