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Breast cancer bracelets cause stir in schools

September 13
00:29 2010

BALTIC, S.D.: Rubber bracelets aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer and emblazoned with “I love boobies” are raising eyebrows among school officials in South Dakota.

This week, Baltic High School joined several schools nationwide to ban the popular bracelets with a message some say is in poor taste.

“I do think there are more proper ways to bring this plight to the attention of people, and I don’t think this is a proper way,” Principal Jim Aisenbrey told The Argus Leader.

Officials at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls have also told students not to wear the bracelets in school.

“Our concern is that the issue the wristbands are meant to address is a serious one, but the language used on the bracelets trivializes the issue,” Principal Kyle Groos said.

The bracelets that sell for about $4 in stores were created by the nonprofit Keep A Breast Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif. Proceeds go to the foundation’s programs.

Schools from Florida to California have banned the bracelets following objections from some students and parents.

Baltic resident Ann Aberson said cancer has affected several of her relatives, and she doesn’t have a problem with her two teenage daughters wearing the bracelets. “I guess I never thought of them as offensive,” she said.

“It’s just a bracelet,” said her 16-year-old daughter, Amelia Atkins. “Yeah, it says ‘boobies,’ but it’s for breast cancer.”

But not all students wear the bracelets because of the serious message.

“I pretty much had it just to get a kick out of it, just because it says, ‘I love boobies,’ mostly not because of the awareness,” Baltic student Chris Mesa told KDLT.

“Most of us like to have it as a joke, like this is awesome, it has ‘boobies’ on it,” said student Travis Evans.

Bracelet co-founder Shaney jo Darden told The Argus Leader that the bracelets are meant to spark discussion among young people.

“That’s the whole idea,” she said. “It’s getting people to talk about breast cancer, it’s getting people to share their feelings about how this disease has impacted their life.”

-AP

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