A high school student was left humiliated when school officials decided her ‘protruding nipples’ were distracting people and asked her to cover them with Band-Aids.
17-year-old Lizzie Martinez claims staff at Branden River High School told her, the lack of a bra was drawing stares from other students and she needed to cover up, the Bradenton Herald reports.
She was told to put on another top under her long-sleeved shirt to ‘constrict’ them but the dean, Violeta Velazquez, then decided this wasn’t enough and sent her to the nurse’s office where she was handed plasters to cover each nipple.
Traumatised by the event, Lizzie was reduced to tears and left school early.
When she told her mother, Kari Knop, she was horrified at how the school handled the situation and stopped the car they were in.
Ms Knop said:
I stopped and I looked over at her, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, you have to be kidding me.’
Ms Knop then went to meet with the school administrators, as well as speaking on the phone with Manatee County Schools superintendent Diana Greene.
Greene suggested, like other administrators, the teen’s nipples were distracting the students but added she sympathised with Lizzy’s predicament.
In a statement, school officials admitted the situation should’ve been handled better but added they were only trying to enforce the district’s dress code.
Meanwhile, in a prepared statement the district’s general counsel, Mitchell Teitelbaum, agreed school officials had mishandled the situation.
This matter was brought to the attention of the Superintendent’s Office for review.
It’s undisputed this matter should have been handled differently at the school level and corrective measures have been taken to prevent a reoccurrence in the way these matters will be addressed in the future.
Lizzy shared a picture of the top she was wearing to prove how ridiculous being sent home was:
However, Teitelbaum went on to say Martinez violated the dress code by distracting other students, explaining school officials were only trying to help her fix the violation.
The school’s dress code states students are expected to dress appropriately for school and for the business of learning with proper attention given to personal cleanliness, grooming and neatness.
No mention is made of bras, nor is it mandatory for girls to wear them.
*school has student put bandaids over her nipples because it is a “distraction” then blocks them for calling them out on sexualizing her* :/ pic.twitter.com/x8dEDYjh2c
— liz (@lizzymartineez) April 3, 2018
Following the incident, Lizzy said she plans to stop wearing a bra in protest of how the school treated her. She claims she’s done her research and what the school did is ‘completely illegal’.
According to the Metro, she said:
You can’t make girl students abide by a dress code that boys don’t have to abide by. So if the policy for next year is the need to wear a bra – I’d like to see boys in my class with jock straps and bras on as well.
On Monday, she tagged the school in a tweet which read: ‘Stop sexualizing my body @piratenationhs. The school then blocked her account.
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