A letter sent home recently to parents of children at Suwannee Intermediate School warned that students will no longer be allowed to wear rubber jelly bracelets, said to be commonly associated with a popular sex game being played across the country.
The bracelets, a trademark of the 1980s when pop performers Cyndi Lauper and Madonna donned them, are said to have taken on a whole new meaning for many of today's teens and pre-teens.
"The bracelets now symbolize different sexual acts that the wearer has performed or is willing to perform," wrote SIS Principal Bill Yanossy in the letter to parents.
According to the Web site amyth.com, to which the letter directs parents, each color-coded bracelet represents a different sexual act the wearer is willing to perform or indulge in.
It's not assumed that every SIS student wearing a jelly bracelet is aware of this "code," much less that they engage in the practice it describes.
In fact, some wonder if the link between jelly bracelets and sex isn't at least part urban legend.
Nonetheless, the jelly bracelet trend has raised concerns for administrators.
Superintendent Jerry Scarborough said when district officials, including Yanossy, learned of the game, they reacted to the problem immediately.
"As a district, we are handling the matter in the most appropriate manner," Scarborough said. "We want to err on the side of caution to make sure that we provide a safe environment for our students."
Locally, children seen wearing the bracelets will be asked to take them off and will be called to the office to discuss the matter with an appropriate school official.
At least three parents were outraged at how letters were sent home with students, and submitted Rants to the Suwannee Democrat. (See Page 6A.) The letters were sent home unsealed and available for student viewing.
As spring break comes to an end and school comes back in session, the Democrat will examine this topic in greater depth. Readers can expect an extended story featuring administrative interviews and, we hope, input from parents, this coming week.