A full federal appeals court last week heard arguments about whether school districts may bar students from wearing the popular “I ❤ Boobies” wristbands promoting breast-cancer awareness.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, is reviewing a 2011 decision by a federal district judge to block the Easton Area school district in Pennsylvania from enforcing a ban.
Administrators at Easton Area Middle School believed the reference to “boobies” was inappropriate for middle school students. Two students who were suspended for defying the prohibition challenged it in court through their parents as a violation of their First Amendment free-speech rights.
The case prompted an hour long argument before the 13 members of the appeals court, with the judges debating which U.S. Supreme Court decision on student speech the boobies case should be analyzed under, and whether the slogan was inappropriate in schools.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as Appeals Court Hears Wristband-Ban Case