WALDOBORO – Bracelets intended to raise awareness of breast cancer are proving to be a distraction at Medomak Valley High School, where several students have been suspended.

The rubbery bracelets, which say “I (heart) boobies,” have triggered similar responses elsewhere across the country when students wear them in schools.

“They’re disruptive to the education process,” said Harold Wilson, principal at the school, which houses students from Friendship, Union, Waldoboro and Warren.

Harley Campbell, whose great-grandmother died of breast cancer, told the Bangor Daily News that she was suspended for three days because she refused to remove her bracelet.

“It’s the right thing to do to fight for the right to support this big of a cause,” she said. “I know people who have died from (breast cancer). It’s not just people on TV saying they survived. We have teachers in school who are suffering from stage-four breast cancer.”

Students across the country have sued their school districts on free-speech grounds.

Now, at least one parent of a Medomak Valley High School student is considering suing the school district.

Lauri Naum is the parent of 17-year-old A.J. Naum, a senior who wears his bracelet every day. Every day, he’s told to take it off and threatened with punishment.

A.J. explained that his grandmother died from breast cancer and that a close friend is fighting breast cancer for a second time.

“It means a lot to me that it means so much to him to do this,” Lauri Naum said. “This was never an issue. The school is making it an issue.”