The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Schools ban support bracelets

“I [heart] boobies!”

That is the saying found on colorful bracelets worn by students all over the country to show their support for breast cancer research.

The bracelets were created as a part of the “I Love Boobies” campaign by the California based, non-profit Keep A Breast Foundation to increase breast cancer awareness among teenagers.

Today, the foundation has done more than raise awareness; it has sparked a controversial debate.

Many educators around Texas and the country say the language on the bracelets is not appropriate for the classroom.

They argue that the word “boobies” is against dress code policies that prohibit students from wearing anything with sexually suggestive language or images.

“It’s all about context,” said Mark Knize of the Administration Department at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas.  

The school doesn’t allow students to wear the bracelets during school because not everyone knows they are for a good cause, and those who don’t immediately assume they are about something sexual, he said.

School administrations that have been banning the bracelets don’t have a problem with the support of breast cancer research that the bracelets have promoted among students.

Instead, they feel the word “boobies” isn’t appropriate for their students to be wearing.

When asked if she had a problem with students wearing the bracelets in class, Tracy Schandler, a teacher at the Hockaday School in Dallas said, “I don’t think ‘boobies’ is a bad word, and if it makes teens aware then I think it is a good thing.”

Shaney Jo Darden and Mona Mukherjea-Gehrig founded the Keep A Breast Foundation in 2000 because they saw a growing need for breast cancer awareness programs in the United States.

Keep A Breast Foundation has been known for their innovative ways of raising awareness for breast cancer by targeting youth. The purpose of Keep A Breast’s “I Love Boobies” Campaign is to speak to young people in their own voice about a subject that is often scary and taboo, according to Sarah Hardwick from the Foundation’s public relations department.  

“Most [people] find it refreshing in a sea of pink ribbons to see a positive approach based on prevention and education,” Hardwick said in an e-mail interview.

The Foundation feels strongly that “boobies” is not a four-letter word. While some school administrations in California are allowing students to wear the bracelets as long as they turn them inside out so that the word “boobies” is not visible, some schools in Texas have banned the bracelets all together.

Local Dallas schools such as Prince of Peace Catholic School in Plano, and The Episcopal School of Dallas prohibit students from wearing the bracelets.

Mayde Creek Junior High in Katy, Texas announced via an eNews message that as of Sept. 15 students would no longer be able to wear the bracelets at school.

They decided to ban the bracelets because some students were using the suggestive nature of the wording on the bracelet as an opportunity to make inappropriate comments to other students, the school said in its message.

Today, Keep A Breast Foundation continues to spread its message to young people through benefits and concerts with the support of artists such as The Foo Fighters and Katy Perry, as well as through the sales of the “I [heart] boobies” bracelets, t-shirts and stickers.   

The bracelets are available for purchase online at www.loserkids.com or www.zumiez.com , as well as at any Zumiez location. When asked if he knew anything about Dallas area schools banning the bracelets, manager of Zumiez at Collin Creek Mall, Jeff Kelly, said that he hadn’t heard anything about it.

But, Kelly did say that the store’s middle school and junior high school clientele had recently been complaining that their teachers were taking their “I [heart] boobies” bracelets from them in class without ever returning them. Kelly also acknowledged that the bracelets are “in high demand.”

SMU freshman Cody Booth continues to wear his “I [heart] boobies” bracelet in college and doesn’t understand why people have a problem with it.

While Booth understands some adults might find the word “boobies” offensive, he doesn’t think younger people feel the same way.

“Times have changed, and our culture is not the same as it was 40 years ago,” Booth said. “[Adults] need to adapt.”

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