We Don't Need No Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelets in The Classroom…


In case you've forgotten just how shitty and prison-like high school can be (and why school choice would, like, totally rule!), here's a dispatch from the frontlines of adolescence:

This week, Baltic High School, just north of [Sioux Falls, S.D.], became one of the latest across the USA to ban the rubber bracelet, which has a message some say is in poor taste: "I love boobies."The bracelets have caused controversy in schools in states including California, Colorado, Idaho, Florida and Wisconsin. Some districts allow students to wear them inside-out, and others ban them.

"When we had an assembly the first day of school, I basically told the students we are not insensitive to the cause," Baltic High Principal Jim Aisenbrey says. "I think everybody in the gym, including myself, has had a family member or relative or friend who has dealt with the issue. I do think there are more proper ways to bring this plight to the attention of people, and I don't think this is a proper way."

More here. It's a small annoyance, sure, and I don't doubt that all sorts of off-color comments emanated from the bracelets like a homing device. But really, can high schools work harder to just try to suck the life out of everyone and everything?

Then again, this is how it's been for decades, if not centuries: oppressive, repressive, suppressive Mr. Weatherbees and Miss Grundys trying to smother signs of life among their students. And the students end up forming their personalities against said repression. Where else is that dark sarcasm in the classroom gonna come from?

Take it away, Pink Floyd.

NEXT: The Pointless Prosecution of Roger Clemens

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Kids are stupid. But why do adults wear those silly things? If I don’t know the color codes, will I remain unaware of cancer/diabetes/the homeless/the veterans/the gays? Or are they like the IRenew Bracelet (as seen on TV), an energy balancing bracelet that helps bring new, fresh energy into your life?

    1. (as seen on TV)

      and the ads on the side of this story.

      1. I have Ad Block. Beautiful white margins.

  2. Shouldn’t it be a cancer on the student body?

    I’ve never heard the phrase school body.

    1. Currently unavailable

      Looks like they can’t even be bothered to make the damn thing.

    2. No customer reviews yet.


  3. Actually, I support their crusade against verbalized transitive pictographs. If you want to say something, use a word. What are we, ancient Egypt?

  4. In all fairness, David Lee Roth seems to have had a better time in school than Roger Waters.

    1. He was hot for teacher, certainly.

  5. They are so concerned about things that “disrupt the learning environment” yet they never managed to expel me.

    For the record, I love boobies too.

    1. For the record, I love boobies too.

      For your viewing pleasure. nsfw

      1. I love all boobies. Our feathered friends included.

    2. This type of pointless prohibition does more to upset kids and disrupt the learning environment than just letting the thing go on its merry way.

      My experience as a teenager in the days of yore, and as an adult who teaches teens, is that trends come and go within the time span of a goldfish capacity to maintain memories, and the shock value of bracelets, tees, haircuts and colors, modes of dress, and jokes wears off faster than the shine on $2 gold-plated earrings.

      If the admins never brought attention to the issue, it would have caused much less of a stir than banning it would have. I swear they work against themselves so much, and get paid well to do it, all in the name of looking “tough on (issue du jour).”

      1. It’s like at some point in their training, their memories of childhood are removed somehow.

        I remember the first time a kid showed up at school with a mohawk. The school authorities freaked out and suspended him for a week. Next week he was back in class with a mohawk and a 1/4 inch of surrounding hair. Morons.

        (Regular viewers of The SugarFree Show should note that the mohawk kid was the albino I beat up in 8th grade.)

        1. It’s like at some point in their training, their memories of childhood are removed somehow.

          I will never forget the noogies and wedgies!

          1. I’ve always suspected that might be more than a joke. Everyone I knew in high school who went into secondary education was either a goody-goody, a suck-up, or a born-again nerd.


            1. I have just the opposite anecdote. The teachers I know were stoned 24/7 and still are. They were nerdy, but most of them are the opposite of what I thought my teacher was when I was in school. Most of the ones I know are special school district or AP teachers.

            2. Right. The hoods became cops or prisoners. The cutups now own comedy clubs, produce independent films or run successful startups. Most of the rest of us labor away in cubicles relieving the boredom with posting comments on blogs.

        2. It’s not that all of their childhood memories get erased so much as softened with the rosy glow of nostalgia and how much more aggressive/stupid/sexualized etc. kids are “these days.”

          Anyone with some sense and capacity to put some rational thought into human nature would know otherwise. It’s never worse or better, it’s just different.

          Hubby and I were talking about online sex predators and sexting, etc. the other day. It’s not so much that the dangers or the activity have become more present, they’ve just changed their shape. Kids have always played “show me yours” with each other, but for some reason what used to be a closeted – sometimes literally – activity is now out in the open due to picture phones.

          Srsly, I don’t know why teachers and administrators pretend that this is not just normal and natural, especially when you cram that many kids into one space for a long period of time. Behaviors like this would probably be less noticeable (or perhaps even disappear) if the grouping wasn’t so homogeneous for age.

          1. I’m sure that teaching the (largely) unwilling has to play a part as well. Individual problems (this kid is bad) get universalized (all kids are bad.)

            I think my favorite teachers were the ones that were sort of bored being there themselves.

        3. Dude, you beat up an albino? Thats just wrong.

        4. What an awful school you went to. And I thought mine was bad. Some guy showed up with a mohawk and the autorities did nothing. The kid got made fun of by the other kids, which was enough to convince him to conform, but that was it.

      2. “This type of pointless prohibition does more to upset kids and disrupt the learning environment than just letting the thing go on its merry way.”

        It’s also important for turning kids into government-hating libertarians, so there’s that.

        1. Nah, it just makes them into government loving lefties. It’s okay to have mohawks and wear boobie bracelets, but we still have to tax the shit out of everyone else so we can get our goodies for free.

    3. Lo those many years ago when I was in high school the principal and vice principal came into my algebra class, had the teacher stop what he was doing, and hauled me out of class to send me home because my long hair was “disrupting the learning environment.”

      They were none too pleased when I asked them what they thought was more disruptive, my sitting in class learning or their interrupting class because my hair was past my collar.

      1. Hippies like you sicken me.

        1. If he’s an albino, will you go beat him up?

          1. Sell him to Tanzania, and reinvest the profit into anti-hippie commodities like soap.

        2. Mr. Davis, is that you?

      2. I was suspended – on more than one occasion – because my skipping class was considered “disruptive”.

        That’s right. I was disrupting class by not being there. I mean, I can understand why they were upset by not having my presence around, but it seemed odd to then reward me by giving me a week off from classes.

        1. Yes, I’ve been there, too. “You don’t want to come to school? Fine, we won’t let you.” Brilliant.

          The last time I was suspended before they threatened to keep me from graduating no matter what my grades were (see, there’s a motivator, and it only took them four years to think of it) they told me they were suspending me for three days. I asked, “Can I have five?” Again, none too pleased.

          1. I quit high school, but some social worker called and said I was too young. I went striaght to the dean and told him about it, and asked if I could be suspended. He looked at my record, and said he could suspend me for 20 days. When I reminded him that there were some school days after that, he said “oh, just don’t come to school”.

            No problem, bro.

            1. You are my hero

        2. The mantra that something a kid is doing is “disruptive to the learning environment” is exactly the same as the police saying that you are “creating a disturbance” or being “disorderly”.

          It’s a nonsense bullshit phrase meaning “you’re doing something I disapprove of and must impose my authoritai and try to make you stop it.”

          1. It’s also akin to the police saying something is necessary “for officer safety.”

            It’s a catch-all justification that courts routinely defer to, allowing the school administrators or police to use their discretion as “professionals.”

            Which is how we end up with outrageous bullshit like it’s ok to strip-search 13 year-old girls to see if they have an ibuprofen pill on them.

      1. broken link. google “boobs” with safe search off, and partway down, among a huge assortment of tits, is a motivational poster of condi rice with obama and biden with the caption “woman with the world’s biggest boobs”

  6. This is going to kill the youth demographic for Multiple Sclelrosis’ “Let’s Fuck MS in the Ass” bracelet campaign.

    1. But not “I Licked Athlete’s Foot”.

  7. Sucking the life out of you is the purpose of schools these days.

  8. This brings back memories. When I was in high school, in California in the 1970s, there was a proposition on the ballot to legalize marijuana. Our political club invited a spokesperson from that group to give a speech. Plans were made, the event was publicized, and for some reason the administration didn’t understand what we were doing until the day of the event. They came and pulled me out of class and told me to cancel it. I was taken to the principal’s office and told to call the outfit from there, which I did. They got mad and said the speaker was already on the way. I got upset and probably started to cry, and then the guy started reassuring me. I remember he said, “it’s okay, we all know how high schools are run” and this had quite an effect on me, to hear this in this context from an adult.

    The story ended well, though. I went and found our faculty advisor, a history teacher, and told him what had happened. It was all so unusual–I remember my trepidation about interrupting his class. He was great, though, he thought for a minute and came up with a plan. He suggested that we have the speaker stand a couple of feet off campus, while the rest of us stood in the parking lot.

    We did that, and it worked. We put a sign on the door of the original venue and the principal didn’t find it (and tear it down) until a lot of people had seen it. Word spread and we had a big crowd in the parking lot at lunchtime, with the speaker standing on the other side of the ivy.

    Although this story supports the observation that schools are like prison, it also shows that in the end what matters most are the actions of individuals. That one teacher made a big difference in how things played out.

  9. inre the video:

    I do, in fact, believe that they need some education. They can’t seem to form a complete sentence without using a double negative.

    1. They used to pull me out of class for being “disruptive” when I had even the slightest amount of facial scruff (and I grew it fast). I was then forced to shave in the bathroom with a single blade razor and no shaving cream. This was a public school. Some of those power-tripping school admins should have just been prison guards instead.

      1. (that was not a reply to pendantic) goddamn threaded comments.

    2. I oppose all those stupid Latin grammar rules that got Anglecized such as prohibitions on double negatives and sentence ending prepositions. They are “stupid rule[s] up with which we should not put.”

      1. Agreed. As one of my linguistics profs said over and over and over:

        Language is descriptive not prescriptive.

      2. Yoda, is that you?

    3. People who dont understand that double negatives are for emphasis and are actually, very, very, very correct and the ones who need an education.

      1. are the ones.

        You really cant call someone out on grammar without a typo. Its just imposssible.

  10. I’m not getting the big kerfuffle over this. So a school is interested in keeping some semblance of order and less distraction in order to educate. What if a private Catholic school banned the wristbands? Is a public school prohibited from trying to maintain order or minimize distractions? This is nothing compared to strip searches for Advil.

    Personally, I think because colorectal cancer kills more people, we should all be wearing brown ribbons and “i heart assholes” bracelets.

    1. I think because colorectal cancer kills more people, we should all be wearing brown ribbons and “i heart assholes” bracelets

      I’m pretty sure the teachers’ unions already have the “I heart assholes” thing trademarked.

    2. yeah but you would have to wear them shoved up your ass and then no one could (or would)read them.

  11. I wonder why they would name a high school in the middle of South Dakota “Baltic”?

    1. Becauz they’re a bunch of dirty immigrants?

      1. Oh, no. Baltic immigrants are squeaky clean.

    2. Perhaps they recognize their place on the Monopoly board of life.

  12. If “I heart Boobies” is verboten, what about “Save the TaTas”?

    1. “Save the bizonkers”

      1. “Buddy to bosoms”?

        1. BFF: Boobie friend forever!

  13. I went to school at a time when the administration ignored the fact half of us wore Jack Daniels t-shirts, and more importantly, ignore the fact we came in the morning bombed on Ripple bought at the gas station up the road. This is just an amazing example of how far we have descended into some tight ass’s utopia.

  14. I’m all for student free speech, and I’d kill myself if I were in school now. I do find it somewhat telling that I never heard of students wearing pink breast cancer bracelets before, at least not in large numbers, until this “I love boobies” version came out. If you ban those but still let them wear any other plain old “I Support Breast Cancer” bracelet, i bet none of the kids will still wear them. Hell I bet half or more of the kids dont even know the “I love boobies” bracelet is about breast cancer.

  15. The single most important thing I learned in HS was how to be a snarky little bastard and mock pretty much everyone, without ever getting The Man to bring the ball-hammer down on me. Since then, I have refined it to the point where I can mock people to their face, with just enough subtlety that I leave them not quite sure I’ve just made fun of them.

    And I can play Scrabble in Espanol.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.