The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a legal dispute over whether school districts can ban bracelets worn by students bearing the slogan "I ♥ boobies! (KEEP A BREAST)" to promote breast cancer awareness.
School officials in some districts say the bracelets are disruptive and have caused disciplinary problems.
The Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania, on the New Jersey border, banned them as lewd — and two students and the American Civil Liberties Union sued. They prevailed in a federal appeals court, which struck down the ban, and the Supreme Court let that ruling stand.
The bracelets are distributed by a nonprofit group, the Keep A Breast Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif.
Matt Rourke / AP, file
Easton Area School District students Brianna Hawk, 15, left, and Kayla Martinez, 14, spoke to reporters outside the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia last February. The court struck down a ban on "I (heart) Boobies!" The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of that decision.
First published March 10 2014, 7:28 AM
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He has been covering the Justice Department and the U.S. Supreme Court since March 1993. Williams was also a key reporter on the Microsoft anti-trust trial and Judge Jackson's decision.
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Prior to joining NBC, Williams served as a press official on Capitol Hill for many years. In 1986 he joined the Washington, D.C. staff of then Congressman Dick Cheney as press secretary and a legislative assistant. In 1989, when Cheney was named Assistant Secretary of Defense, Williams was appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. While in that position, Williams was named Government Communicator of the Year in 1991 by the National Association of Government Communicators.
A native of Casper, Wyo. and a 1974 graduate of Stanford University, Williams was a reporter and news director at KTWO-TV and Radio in Casper from 1974 to 1985. Working with the Radio-Television News Directors Association, for which he served as a member of its board of directors, he successfully lobbied the Wyoming Supreme Court to permit broadcast coverage of its proceedings and twice sued Wyoming judges over pre-trial exclusion of reporters from the courtroom. For these efforts, he received a First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.