Boobies Bracelet Is the Rage

By Nisha Panjabi and Shazeen Nasim

I Heart Boobies bracelets support a good cause, and are quickly becoming a fashion statement as well

Photo by Alex Archuleta

Much to the dismay of many parents and teachers, students at Cal High and throughout the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have lately been sporting their love for “boobies” on their sleeves.

The silicone bracelets, made popular in large part by their “I heart boobies” slogan, are part of the Keep a Breast Foundation’s mission to increase awareness among teens about breast cancer in order to eradicate it.

The nonprofit organization also sells shirts, lanyards and tote bags with the same catchphrase.

But school and district administrators are still unsure whether the bold statement displayed on the merchandise is school appropriate.

“Cancer is a debilitating disease that we need to fight,” said assistant principal Duff Danilovich. “I think that if icons or bracelets can be used to get the word out, it’s a good thing.”

Some people believe teens, especially boys, are more than likely wear the bracelet just because it says “boobies” on it.

AP Calculus teacher Jean Dillman believes the bracelets could have been more appropriate for a school setting so that students would wear them to promote breast cancer awareness as opposed to wearing the bracelets simply to be funny or attention-grabbing.

“They could have done it more tastefully,” said Dillman. “The bracelets distract from the real message.”

English teacher and two-time cancer survivor Gilta Thomas believes the bracelets can improve the lives of those affected by cancer by publicizing the issue.

“I think one of the things that is attached to all cancer is that it is very scary, “ said Thomas. “[The bracelets] are trying to take that edge off.”

Although the bracelets are still permitted at Cal, middle schools in the districts have different policies.

At Pine Valley Middle School, the bracelets were banned completely at the beginning of this school year.

Pine Valley Principal Jason Law cited the bracelet’s inappropriate language and disruptive nature as the cause of the ban.

“As much as we support the cause, kids mostly wear them to draw attention to one’s self,” said Law.

Law believes that middle school students are not mature enough to behave appropriately about the bracelets.

“When something becomes a distraction from school, we are obligated to take care of it.” said Law.

At Iron Horse Middle School, students are only told to remove their bracelet if it does not have a specific web address engraved into the plastic.

The web address certifies that the profit from the bracelets is directed to breast cancer research, according to Iron Horse assistant principal Maureen Allison.

District spokesperson Terry Koehne believes the “I Heart Boobies” bracelets are not significant enough to be banned as a district policy.

“I think its an amazing cause,” said Koehne. “But if it becomes a distraction and against the dress code we will ask kids to remove them.”

Many students did not understand the connection between the bracelet’s controversial language and their appropriateness.

“I got [the bracelet] because it supports breast cancer,” said junior Jessica Weaver. “Just because it says ‘boobies’ doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate.”

Other students were not aware of the cause they were supporting when they first bought the merchandise.

Sophomore Tyler Stimpson who has an “I heart boobies” shirt, lanyard and guitar pick, bought it because he thought it was funny and later found out that the merchandise also supports breast cancer.

Tyler wore his shirt to school at the end of last year but was told that it was inappropriate and was asked by an administrator not to wear it at school.

“I bought it because it supports breast cancer and it’s a trend,” said junior Austin Thomas. “Some teachers just have a terrible sense of humor.”