Teens often come across many scary things once they get to high school: gangs, drugs, and—most menacingly—rubber wristbands emblazoned with the phrase “I Love Boobies.”
Luckily, the Durham District School Board has decided to crack down on the ominous bracelets, threatening suspension if students refuse to remove them while on school property. The “I Love Boobies” campaign was created by the American Keep a Breast Foundation, which is selling the wristbands to raise money for breast cancer research.
The Durham board has recognized the blemish on this whole brightly coloured charade, and ruled such manifestations of the word “boobies” to be entirely inappropriate. So fundraise if you must, children, but leave your crude language out of it.
In another, perhaps less authoritarian world, educators could have piggybacked off the popularity of the bracelets to lead classroom discussions about the ethics of out-of-the-box marketing campaigns. Is it appropriate to use a colloquial, perhaps lewd word like “boobies” to draw attention to a disease that is anything but jovial? Is cheeky humour key to lubricating potentially awkward discussions? And where are our “I Love Testes” bracelets?
But instead, the Durham board has decided to act as parent for many of its high school students and silence the discussion by removing the talking points from school premises. Because banning is key when confronted with uncomfortable or oppositional positions, right? The board would be better off guiding students to make up their own minds, rather than making the decisions for them.