BV students raise breast cancer awareness by wearing various colored “Keep-A-Breast” wristbands

Jordan McEntee, Design editor

Hundreds of students roam the halls of BV wearing colorful wristbands that read, “I love boobies.”
While there are opposing views on the appropriateness of the bracelets, their actual purpose is to support breast cancer awareness and research.
Junior Jen Kranjec works at Zumiez at Oak Park Mall, where these popular bracelets are sold. She noticed a sharp increase in the sales of the wristbands in the past couple months.
“Each week we’ll get a whole shipment of them and they’re all gone by the end of the week,” Kranjec said. “Obviously whoever decides what products to order has realized that these things are popular.”
Of the various products sold in support of breast cancer awareness, these bracelets are, by far, the most popular at Zumiez.
“The organization that makes them is called ‘Keep-a-Breast’ and they also make bumper stickers, shirts and a lot of other stuff,” Kranjec said. “The bracelets are the definitely most popular because they’re pretty cheap and fashionable. We’ll have whole packs of girls come walking in and be like, ‘Do you have those boobies bracelets?’”
With the high demand for the wristbands, the store occasionally runs out.
“Sometimes people will come in and we won’t have any,” Kranjec said. “Some people even call ahead before they come to make sure we have some.”
Some people have a problem with the message these bracelets put out, but Kranjec likes the meaning behind them.
“I think they’re a really good thing,” she said. “You just have to be bold about the statement to get the word out there. There’s nothing wrong with the word ‘boobies’. People just don’t really realize at first that they’re for breast cancer. A mom came into the store and didn’t believe that’s what they’re actually for.”
At Rocklin High School in Rocklin, Calif., a student was given a Saturday school referral because he refused to remove the breast cancer bracelet when asked by school officials.
“When you use the term ‘boobies,’ many people find it offensive and inappropriate, and we find it inappropriate to be wearing it on school grounds,” Rocklin principal Mike Garrison told CNN.
Some schools in the Kansas City area have also started banning these bracelets because they believe they’re inappropriate, as well.
“At work, this one mom told me that they’re not allowed in her kids’ schools,” Kranjec said. “She said her kids take them off during the school day then put them back on after. I guess they’re pretty determined to wear them.”
Despite other schools’ views, BV administration doesn’t have a problem with the bracelets.
“I haven’t really heard much about them,” Assistant Principal of Activities Megan Allam said. “I’ve just seen a couple people wearing them in the lunchroom. It was like the first week of school when someone pointed them out to me. They were like, ‘Have you seen those bracelets some kids have?’”
Allam said the wristbands are appropriate, according to the dress code.
“I can’t think of anything in the dress code that they would violate,” she said. “There’s not really anything that addresses bracelets.”