Four students were suspended for one day for wearing clothing and bracelets with the term 'boobies.'
WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WZZM) - Although he supports students campaigning for breast cancer awareness, White Cloud School Superintendent Barry Seabrook says he can not permit what he considers inappropriate displays.
"We teach respect here in the White Cloud schools, and dignity," says Seabrook.
Wednesday, four White Cloud High School students were suspended when they refused to remove bracelets the superintendent said were derogatory and disruptive.
The bracelets were imprinted with the slogans: 'I Love Boobies' or 'Peace, Love And Boobies'.
"I said I was not going to stop wearing my bracelets until I got my point across," says ninth grader Tyler Raymo, who was suspended for a day.
"They refused to take them off, turn them around or get them out of sight, and for insubordination they were sent home," explains Superintendent Seabrook.
The superintendent says he completely supports breast cancer awareness efforts and finding a cure.
"I'm all for the cause," he says. "It's a wonderful cause."
But the superintendent says the 'boobie' bracelets interfere with educating students.
"It causes chaos in the classroom," he says. "Teachers are tired of dealing with it. We just put our foot down and said it's not acceptable. It's disrespectful to females."
"I don't see how it's disruptive," says Raymo's father. "It's not vulgar, it's not profanity, it's not offensive."
White Cloud administrators do permit students to wear t-shirts supporting the cause.
"One had the word 'ta tas' on it," recalls Superintendent Seabrook. "One had 'funbags'. One had a picture of deer antlers that stated 'check your rack'. I told them those were pretty borderline, but I could live with it. I couldn't live with 'boobie bracelets.'"
The suspended students say they will comply with school policy, for now, but they will go to the school board meeting later this month to appeal their case
"My grandma died of breast cancer and it has run through that side of the family," says Tyler. "That's one of the main reasons I care about it."
"The cause is very noble, the cause is great," agrees Superintendent Seabrook. "But, there are better ways to support it. Much better ways to support it. Appropriate ways."