In order to raise teenagers' awareness of breast cancer, the Keep-A-Breast foundation began selling "I [heart] Boobies!" rubber bracelets for $3.99 on their website, and for some reason they're really popular with the youths! Perhaps the teens are just really concerned about breast cancer, which is why it's so troubling that numerous schools are banning the bands. Nine schools in the West Islip school district banned the bracelets in September, but now it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the kids can't show their support. District spokeswoman Nancy Lenz told Newsday (paywall), "We just don't like the wording. We think it's inappropriate for children." Would "I [heart] Breasts" be any better?
While some schools say they want to protect children from the harsh and disturbing language, others say rubber bracelets like those and Silly Bandz have become a distraction in the classroom. (Though the schools don't seem to be banning metal bracelets.) But the Pro-Boobies movement is strong. Kimmy McAtee of Keep-A-Breast said, "We fully understand that the 'I Love Boobies' campaign is not for everyone, but we also feel that the word boobies is not a four-letter word." One parent said, "People are oversensitive about silly things these days. They should be focused on other things than the word 'boobies.'" We're not even sure that's possible.
The strongest Pro-Boobie argument came from 14-year-old Adrianne Ragland, who said, "It just puts a little bit of humor into something that's serious and hurts a lot of people, and makes it a little easier to cope with. It's like a conversation starter. 'I like your bracelet. Where'd you get it?' 'It supports breast cancer.' See how that works?" It's even more effective with the t-shirt.