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Oct 2, 2010 4:23 PM by Kelly Werthmann - Q2 News

Breast cancer awareness bracelet banned in School District 2

BILLINGS - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Over the next several weeks, many schools across the country will be "packing the place in pink" and sporting pink attire in support of breast cancer research.

Yet there is one item that is stirring up controversy in the classrooms.

They are the "I heart Boobies - Keep a Breast" bracelets made by The Keep a Breast Foundation. But school administrators don't heart the latest accessory trend.

"We recognize that there are many worthy cancer research efforts that need our support," said School District 2 Superintendent Dr. Keith Beeman. "But it is those bracelets that convey a vulgar or potentially offensive message have been banned."

While school officials support the idea of breast cancer awareness, it is the word choice on these bracelets that is causing a stir in the classroom.

"It conveys not a well intended message, but one that seeks to distract from education," Dr. Beeman explained.

The mother of a 13-year-old female student attending Will James Middle School in Billings agrees with Dr. Beeman. She wanted to remain anonymous, but told us the bracelets are inappropriate.

"I just think the language they use is wrong. They're sending the wrong message to boys," she said. "I had a mother who had breast cancer and she died of lung cancer, so I very much support cancer research. I just don't think they belong in the school."

Across the country many students disagree with the ban and continue to wear the controversial accessory. Dr. Beeman says that if that happens in District 2 schools, students can expect a trip to the principal's office.

"This is not about certain consequences or punishment," explained Dr. Beeman, "but it's about cooperation, understanding and respect."

Dr. Beeman also emphasized that not all bracelets have been banned, only those that contain vulgar or distracting messages.

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