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Breast Cancer Bracelets Nixed at School

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A controversial awareness campaign has school officials upset.

breast cancer bracelet

Chances are your kid spends plenty time on Facebook and not nearly enough supporting breast cancer.

That's not the case at Santa Clara Middle School in California where middle school students (including boys!) have been sporting breast cancer awareness bracelets, trading and collecting them -- up until school officials banned them from school grounds.

Why? The plastic wristbands bear slogans, such as "I Love Boobies" and "Keep a Breast." Santa Clara school board member Andrew Ratermann defended the school's stance by telling ABC News that the purpose of the wristband is to simply get people riled up.

"We would be fully supportive of the concept of wanting to do something about breast cancer. But, I think the makers of the bracelets chose intentionally to start a controversy because of the words they used."

But kids and parents see things differently since a portion of the bracelet sales support breast cancer charities. According to parents the wristbands allow kids to honor those who have died from cancer and also raise awareness about a serious disease in a non-scary, relatable way. Karen Garaci, the mother of a 13-year-old daughter at the school, told ABC News:

"I completely support it. I don't want my daughter to die of breast cancer. I thought it was a fun message and I thought it would get the awareness out in an easy way. Instead of saying, 'Look, breast cancer's going to kill you. Do your exams.' Here, I love boobies. Let's save them and make it approachable for her age group."

Her daughter, 13 year-old Sarah Garaci does not want to take hers off.

"One of my other teachers, I asked her, 'What do you think of the bracelet?' She told me it was demeaning and offensive, and people were making fun of breast cancer," says Sarah.

"I'm still going to wear the bracelet. It actually has a good cause to it. It has a good meaning."

Tell us: Do you think it's OK to make breast cancer awareness a hip topic to appeal to kids?

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
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Rita February 9, 2010, 11:22 AM

Hey, if it makes them become aware of breast cancer and helps them to have regular self-exams and perhaps help with the Komen Foundation, I’m all for it.

That teacher is crazy. How are they making fun of breast cancer?

People need to get off their high horse.

BTW, men can get breast cancer as well.

Cathy Gwozdz February 11, 2010, 2:35 PM

You have to let the kids learn hands on. The bracellets may have the word boobies on some of them but that is what they call breasts at this age! It helps kids to be more comfortable talking about breast cancer. Take a pole in the school and ask each student if breast cancer is happening to someone in their family. You will be suprised at the numbers. Now that the subject is in the open the ones with cancer in their family will find other kids whos mother, grandmother or sister going through breast cancer and they won’t feel so alone! That is boys and girls!!! SO let them be! They are not hurting anything but LEARNING EVERYTHING!!!!!

Cathy Gwozdz February 11, 2010, 2:56 PM

If wearing the bracelets helps one child find another child, girl or boy, that has someone in their family with breast cancer GREAT! It will help them feel less alone. Hopefully it will bring those children together to talk to each other. They might help each other with their fears and one child may help the other understand more in their language. So we need to help our children anyway we can. Wearing a bracelet to open the subject won’t hurt but help no matter what adjective they use to say breast!

LOL May 16, 2010, 7:44 PM


Trey Nipps June 28, 2010, 1:59 AM

Poor kid can’t even spell proper right. Tsk tsk tsk…

Sofia Zawadzki July 19, 2010, 10:09 PM

Hope this helps. And by the way, who cares if the phone stopped ringing -it doesn’t mean you’re unimportant. You require to learn who you are when you’re alone and value your self outside of what others think of you. So as the Sage of Samos wrote on the Temple at Delphi -Know Thyself.

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