'I Love Boobies' brand offends some - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

'I Love Boobies' brand offends some

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - It's become the latest fashion craze: t-shirts and accessories that feature "I Love Boobies". While it's an effort to help find the cure for cancer, some local schools are sensitive to the language used.    

It's that saying, a name brand that was brought to Guam by DNA Evolution under the Keep A Breast Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about cancer. "They found a medium through t-shirts and wristbands and other products to speak to that age group and make it relevant for them to protect themselves from cancer," explained DNA Evolution owner and Strides for the Cure founder Jude Baker. He's aware of the concerns some schools have with the product.

St. Anthony Catholic School and Harvest Christian Academy are among those who have banned the items. St. John's director of college guidance J. Robert Kelley says they, too, had to tackle the issue, telling KUAM News, "We have had some concerns about it, obviously the word 'boobies' comes off as - depending on your definition - offensive and not offensive, its certainly rides that fine line. When the students first started bringing them on campus, there were some students that declared it to be - judged them to be offensive."

He says boobies may be a mildly offensive word, but cancer is an egregiously offensive disease. Baker says this is not an isolated issue for Guam - in fact, a federal ruling was made in Pennsylvania about this very same issue on students wearing this product in the schools.

"It's been upheld under the First Amendment right, the court and the U.S. upheld students rights to wear the expression of 'I Love Boobies' to protect themselves and their families and to represent about breast cancer. It's not meant in a lewd way, it's not meant to be disrespectful, it's meant to resonate among young people in a way that catches their attention and will hopefully start dialogue about cancer," he said.

Baker adds all the money from the t-shirts stays on Guam and will be used to purchase educational resources. Kelley says while the campus did not ban the product, they are cautious, saying, "Concerns we do try to monitor is if somebody is taking the item and using it to taunt, harass, make people feel uncomfortable then that does violate some of the school policies that we do have and of course that is inappropriate and that student will be dealt with on an individualized basis," he said.

With public school students also wearing the brand, Department of Education superintendent Taling Taitano says it's an issue she will look into to ensure no policies are broken. 

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