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Judge sides with FWCS in boobies bracelet case

A federal judge ruled in favor of Fort Wayne Community Schools in the case involving "I (heart) boobies" bracelets, upholding the district's belief the bracelets are lewd.

U.S. District Judge Joseph S. VanBokkelen's decision comes nearly two months after a hearing on whether the district could ban the bracelets.

Attorneys for the ACLU, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the student, now a senior at North Side High School, argued the bracelets were protected by constitutional free-speech rights.

School officials, though, argued the bracelets were disruptive because of their content and defended their decision to ban them at North Side High School.

According to the lawsuit, filed in March 2012, the girl's mother, identified as Julie Andrzejewski, is a breast cancer survivor and had bought the bracelet for her daughter as a gift.

School officials took the bracelet from the girl but later gave it back to her and told her she could no longer wear it to school.

Tuesday's decision comes just a few days after the bracelets were deemed to be constitutionally-protected speech by the U.S. 3rd District Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's editions of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

rgreen@jg.net

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