Florida school scrambles to retrieve prizes with racy images

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2011 7:13 PM
Florida school scrambles to retrieve prizes with racy images

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (Reuters) - School administrators hoping to reward students for their A+ fund-raising efforts at a Florida elementary school unwittingly gave them gifts with what officials said were inappropriate images.

School officials at Jay Elementary School in the Panhandle on Wednesday were trying to collect more than 100 bracelets distributed to students involved in a fund-raising drive after pictures of women in scanty bikinis were found hidden beneath some of the bracelets' cloth coverings.

Known as slap bracelets, the accessories were handed out to about 160 students. One curious child removed the cloth cover to expose the springy, recycled metal measure tape used to give the bracelet its grip.

Along with inches and centimeter marks, the tape included pictures of partially clothed women, Santa Rosa County School District spokesman Bill Emerson said.

"It was one of those calls you get from parents where you say, "Really?" Emerson said. "Then it turns out to be true."

The school district alerted the Nashville-based company that had purchased the bracelets from a Chinese manufacturer, and the company has stopped shipments of the naughty novelties, Emerson said.

Parents have been understanding, he said. The district is continuing efforts to retrieve the prizes but has so far gotten only a handful back.

He said he wouldn't be surprised if some students keep the bracelets. "Curiosity is bound to get the better of some of them," Emerson said.

(Corrects to remove language suggesting images on bracelets were of nude women or x-rated)

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Cynthia Johnston, Jerry Norton and Greg McCune)