E. Supp. 40
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a district wide ban of bracelets containing the word “boobies” was an impermissible restriction of students’ First Amendment speech rights. The majority’s focus on the bracelets’ social message is critical for the preservation of students’ rights to discuss social issues, particularly health issues. Alternatively, Judge Hardiman’s dissent focused on the bracelets’ alleged sexual innuendo and did not give credence to the bracelets’ purpose. Judge Hardiman advocated upholding the ban due to the bracelets’ supposed sexual nature. Had Judge Hardiman prevailed, knowledge and awareness of a vital health issue would have been wrongly suppressed because of the disease’s connection to a sexual body part. It is important that the majority prevailed in order for students to maintain their rights to discuss and be well informed on social issues.