By: Amanda Sundquist
Two middle school students have brought a First Amendment law suit against the Easton Area School District in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The District banned the wearing of “I (heart) Boobies” bracelets distributed by the Keep A Breast Foundation. The students were suspended for failing to comply with the ban.
The two main issues that will likely be examined in the case are: (1) whether the wearing of the bracelets is protected under Tinker v. Des Moines School District, which prohibits a school district from punishing student speech unless it creates a material or substantial disruption and (2) whether the bracelets are sufficiently lewd or indecent to fall within the exception created in Bethel School District v. Fraser to the substantial disruption standard. An injunction hearing is scheduled in this case on December 16, 2010.
For disciplinary issues associated with your school district’s speech or dress polices, please contact Amanda Sundquist in our West Chester office.