Censorship

Judge Backs Ban on 'Boobies' Bracelets

Sides with school district

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FORT WAYNE, Ind.—A federal judge has sided with a Fort Wayne school district's ban on students wearing "I (heart) Boobies!" bracelets, ruling they were disruptive despite the message of breast cancer awareness.

The ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit last year on behalf of a then-sophomore girl at Fort Wayne's North Side High School after administrators took away her rubber bracelet.

The lawsuit argued that the girl, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, had the free speech right to wear the bracelet, The Journal Gazette reported.

U.S. District Judge Joseph VanBokkelen disagreed in Tuesday's ruling with arguments that the high school students are mature enough to deal with the bracelet's sexual innuendo.

School district officials said they banned the bracelets in early 2012 after a male student wearing one began repeating its phrase to girls. They maintained the bracelets were being worn for the students to have a reason to say the word "boobies."

VanBokkelen supported the school's decision even though a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania ruled differently Monday, saying a school there can't ban the bracelet because its message isn't lewd.