School Bans Cheerleaders' Breast Cancer Tees

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Cheerleaders at Gilbert (Ariz.) High School are causing a stir with clothing deemed by administrators to be inappropriate. The issue isn't overly revealing uniforms but T-shirts the squad purchased as part of their plans to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The shirts, which 56 members of the freshman, junior varsity and varsity squads planned to wear during tonight's home football game and a second home game later this month, feature the message, "Feel for lumps, save your bumps." The school's principal, J. Charles Santa Cruz, found the message to be inappropriate and banned the shirts.

The girls' fundraising efforts were intended to complement the efforts of the football players, who will be sporting pink tape, gloves, laces and wristbands during the month. Team members say the message was in no way meant to be suggestive but felt it was conveyed in a way that was effective and appropriate for their age. "We're not saying anything a doctor wouldn't say," varsity cheerleader Natalie Skowronek told The Arizona Republic.

Other members felt that they were being treated unfairly in light of some of the inappropriate attire allowed at games or worn by other clubs, pointing out shirts worn by the school's sign-language club that read, "I'm good with my hands." Similar issues have been raised with bracelets sold by the Keep A Breast Foundation that bear the message "I (heart) boobies." Across the country, administrators concerned that the language is inappropriate have banned them from schools.

The squad had originally planned to protest the decision by wearing the shirts and collecting breast cancer awareness donations outside the stadium during the game, but were told boycotting the game would result in disciplinary action. The principal has said the shirts could be worn if the cheerleaders removed or covered up the "save your bumps" slogan - and also suggested the girls wear plain pink shirts as an alternative.

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