Moffat County School District reversed their ban on the "I Heart Boobies! Keep a Breast!" bracelets on Monday, saying in a press release that they never formally banned the bracelets. The website announcement comes after pressure by the ACLU of Colorado demanding they allow students to wear the bracelets and express their First Amendment right to free expression.
"MCSD did try, in isolated individual instances to find alternatives to the bracelet that did not cause interruptions to our primary goals of teaching and learning," Moffat School District Superintendent Joe Petrone said in a statement. "MCSD continues to support the advocacy efforts of our students and their articulated commitment to breast cancer awareness. MCSD actions in this matter were intended only to lessen interruptions to teaching and learning."
While it is not known whether the bracelets actually caused a disruption to learning, the bracelets were not allowed to be worn in school with the "I Heart Boobies! Keep a Breast!" logo showing.
When eighth grader Jordan Harmon wore the bracelet she was allegedly called into her vice principal's office at Craig Middle School and told that the word "boobies" was an offensive term.
ACLU of Colorado spokeswoman Rosemary Harris Lyte told HuffPost:
Though there were no consequences, like suspensions or detention, for wearing the bracelets, there was a clear message to students that they would be sanctioned for wearing them; it was suggested that their parents would be called--and no student wants to have a parent called to the school.
Just last month in Pennsylvania, a federal judge decided that the district-wide "I Heart Boobies!" bracelet ban was an unconstitutional infringement on students' First Amendment rights. The court also found that the word "boobies" was neither lewd nor indecent in the cancer-fighting context.
A letter from Harmon's grandmother--her inspiration for wearing the bracelet--was shared with HuffPost:
To whom this may concern:
It is not often you find young girls willing to spend their money on something because it supports a good cause. The money from (I LOVE BOOBIES) go to fund breast cancer research. I feel honored to know one of these young ladies. They may be saving there own life by there generosity. Anyone who views the braclets as offensive should get there mind out of the gutter. I am a 2 time survivor and with research may never have to go through the (CURE) again. God bless all of the girls wearing (I LOVE BOOBIES) merchandise. You could be spending your money on cigarettes, beer, pot, etc. but you chose a good cause.