A middle school student who was banned from wearing a bracelet that promotes breast cancer awareness has filed suit in federal court against Sauk Prairie school district, reports the Sauk Prairie Eagle. The suit, brought by Kaisey Jenkins and her mother, Caran Braun, alleges that Principal Ted Harter violated Jenkins’ free speech and due process rights when he banned “I [heart] Boobies!” bracelets from the school. Although the bracelets were popular among students, Harter determined that they were inappropriate and distracting.
The suit seeks to overturn the school’s ban on the bracelets and on t-shirts with the same message and declare the application of its dress code to be overly broad. Jenkins and Braun are being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation (ACLU-WI). According to the suit, “Students do have First Amendment rights. Silencing the speakers because other students might react inappropriately would amount to a constitutionally impermissible heckler’s veto.” It also notes that a ban of the bracelets in the Easton (Pa.) School District led to a federal lawsuit there in which a judge issued a preliminary injunction barring the district from enforcing its ban. That injunction is being appealed.
Source: Sauk Prairie Eagle, 9/8/11, By Ed Trelevan
In June 2011, Legal Clips summarized an article in the Lehigh Valley Express-Times reporting that Easton Area School District (EASD) had filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (PA, NJ, DE, VI) seeking to overturn a federal district court’s issuing of a preliminary injunction barring EASD from enforcing its ban on students wear the "I [heart] Boobies!” bracelets. EASD asserts that the lower court ruling effectively hands the authority of the teachers, administrators and school board over to the students.
The editor’s note of that summary provides a link to a summary of the district court opinion granting the injunction.]