September 2nd, 2010
04:05 PM ET

Schools ban 'boobies' bracelets

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/08/31/breast.cancer.bracelet.kxtv"%5D

Move it, Silly Bandz. There's another rubber bracelet getting students into trouble at schools.

Middle and high school students in South Dakota and central and northern California have been facing possible suspension and have had to remove their controversial bracelets that read “I heart boobies."In Rocklin, California,  a high school sophomore could be suspended after he refused to hand over a black bracelet with the bosom-embracing slogan, according to CNN affiliate KXTV. The 15-year-old said he wore the black bracelet because his grandmother died from breast cancer. He told the station that he owns various bracelets as a show of support– including the well-known yellow Livestrong bracelet and the pink survivor bracelet from Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

Another school district in California does not allow students to wear the bracelets in class because its dress code specifically prohibits 'sexually suggestive language or images.' "That is why jewelry with sexually suggestive language like 'boobies' is not allowed on our campuses,” wrote Kelly Avants, the director of communications at the Clovis Unified School District. “Please understand that the issue is related specifically to the choice of language on these bracelets and the fact that it specifically violates our existing dress code policy.”

The school district supports worthy causes like breast cancer awareness in different activities such as T-shirt sales and volleyball matches, Avants added. Students wearing the bracelets have been asked to remove them until the end of the school day.

The schools in California are not the only ones asking students to leave the rubber bracelets at home. USA Today reported on a similar controversy in schools in South Dakota.

“We understand that some people find ‘I love boobies’ offensive,” said Kimmy McAtee, the spokeswoman for the Keep A Breast Foundation, the non-profit that makes the school contraband. “Many others find it refreshing in the sea of pink ribbons. We’re really taking a positive style of communication and taking something scary and taboo, and making it positive and upbeat.”

Keep A Breast has sold more than 2 million bracelets, she said. The bracelets proclaiming love for breasts began five years ago and started becoming controversial in February as kids started wearing them to school. The buzz died down during the summer and picked back up when school started, McAtee said.

“Tell kids they’re not allowed to wear something, they’ll buy five of them,” she said.

The slang doesn’t offend Donna Charpied, a two-time breast cancer survivor who had a double mastectomy in 2006.

“I think everybody loves boobies,” Charpied, of Manorville, New York, said. “If the end result is a positive thing for the cause, that’s a good thing. I don’t find it offensive at all.” Read more about Charpied.

The bracelets are meant to reach youth.

“We feel the best ways to prevent cancer is to start young and to educate them at that age when they’re developing breasts and starting to learn about bodies,” McAtee said.

Tweens challenged by grown-up malady: Breast cancer

Surely some of the kids are wearing the bracelets to get a giggle, instead of spreading breast cancer awareness, McAtee conceded.

"If it gets the conversation started, we’ve done our part,” she said.

soundoff (693 Responses)
  1. kid

    i'm not gonna lie i'm still in high school sure the boobies thing sounds funny but that's over now it's mostly to help awareness for breast cancer but you adults just don't see it you argue and call each other names half of you up there are barely more mature then my sisters the cause justify the means people are buying them so women like your mom your grandmom your sister or just a friend can be aware about breast cancer what if these bracelets cause enough awarness that a child of yours saves herselves from breast cancer how would you adults feel then. You say we're dirty minded adults are worse we may be wearing it but your the one seeing images of boobs in your heads. that's why were trying to fight the schools about this if a student supports a cause for something like breast awareness that could've saved his grandma then support it. Really those bracelets are nothing compared to what come out of teachers mouths when students arn't around so really think about it if this raises money for breast awareness and student's wern't allowed to wear them and get more student's to buy the then that's money wasted for saving millions of lives that need help then tell me. how you feel about i heart boobies

    December 18, 2010 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mark

    I work at a school where they just banned these bracelets, and to be honest with you, I never even noticed them before the ban. The bracelets do not impact the educational process, and as far as being "appropriate", who is to determine that? There was a time were it wasn't considered appropriate by some for blacks and whites to attend the same school.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sister Josephine

    I hate those silly rubber bracelets. They should be banned.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ME!!!!!!!!!!

      SCREW YOU!!!!!!!!!

      November 1, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
  4. e

    How many kids actually understand the bracelets meaning? Is it taught in health studies?

    January 24, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ellis

    They shudnt ban it

    January 28, 2011 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. john

    actually kids do understand the meaning of them 99percent of kids wear them for breast cancer and yes it is taught in health education people just react vially when they don't like something

    February 17, 2011 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. marissa

    im in middle school/ highschool and everyone one has these bracelets even me i dont see a problem at all. everyone has one and understands the meaning of it and its great how the money goes to a good cause and helps reach awareness woot woot

    September 2, 2011 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mother

    I am a mother of a 11 yr old boy and a 5 yr. old girl. My 15 year old step son came over wearing the boobies rule bracelet. It was the 1st time I had seen one and was pretty shocked. I am only in my early 30's and am not a prude by any means and I was offended by the bracelet. My grandmother had breast cancer and had to have both of them removed I asked her about it and she was also offended. She said that is the same as wearing a shirt or bracelet that says "Great legs" around someone that has had a leg removed or one that says "Give me a hand" around someone that has an arm removed. The truth of the matter is that our society seems to have lost the ability to consider the fact that the things we say and do can actually make another person feel insecure or sad. I just wish we as a society could be more considerate of others and how our actions right or wrong do affect others.

    September 21, 2011 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Boone county sucks

    The only reason theyre causing so much controversy and commotion is because the schools are making the commotion. If they never noticed or didnt pay attention, they wouldve died eventually like every other fad that didnt cause a fuss. As to the bracelets being offending, people just need to quit being prudes and realize they support a good cause. Once these bracelets go out of style (which looks doubtful now), theyre just going to find something even more offensive to do. So just keep your opinions to yourself. It's for a good cause. 🙂

    December 21, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Normand Adalja

    Good article, thank you! Can you explain the first paragraph in more detail?

    February 7, 2012 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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  14. cf

    I'm sick of the way cancer is being sexualized. People aren't wearing these bracelets because they cure cancer - and they don't - they wear them because they are risque. There are plenty of ways to support cancer victims and raise awareness without being crude about it. Yes, breast cancer is a horrible thing, but that doesn't mean any and all behavior should be acceptable in its name. Would you allow kids to wear bracelets to school that say "Fondle your balls" if they were for testicular cancer awareness?

    August 14, 2013 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. bolon8207

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    a comment on bees reply what are you now a doctor MD stpid.

    August 14, 2013 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 14, 2013 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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