Should This Braless Student Have Been Forced to Put Band-Aids Over Her Nipples?

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  • What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t wear a bra to school? Oh — being body shamed and becoming a national news story? Cool.

    Lizzy Martinez is a 17-year-old high school student from Bradenton, Florida. On Monday, April 2nd, she went to school wearing a Calvin Klein shirt with no bra. In fifth period, she was told to report to the Dean’s office, and was told that her outfit was “distracting” other students and “a boy was laughing at her.”

    Apparently, her third-period teacher and another student had both reported her to the Dean’s office.

    In the Dean’s office, Lizzy told Buzzfeed: “They had me put on a second shirt and then stand up and, like, move and jump around to see how much my breasts moved. I was mortified.”

    She was then taken to the nurse and given four Band-Aids to put over her nipples.

    Lizzy told Buzzfeed: “They told me to cross out my nipples and I just went to the bathroom and cried. I was in shock that it was such a big deal that I wasn’t wearing a bra. Most days I don’t wear one. It depends on my mood. I’m not wearing one right now, and why should it matter?”

    Lizzy and her mother believe this was an issue of gender discrimination, as a boy with excess breast tissue would not have been treated the same way. The day of the incident, she tweeted —

  • The next day, her own high school blocked her on Twitter.

    According to the school district’s general counsel, Mitchell Teitelbaum, the situation could have been handled differently, but school officials were right in trying to enforce the dress code.

    The district is arguing that Lizzy violated the portion of the dress code that says the following: “You are expected to dress appropriately for school and for the business of learning with proper attention given to personal cleanliness, grooming and neatness.” Honestly, that’s pretty vague, and the portion of the dress code focused on women says nothing about bras being a requirement.

    The district and the school aren’t saying anything else about the incident for now.

    Though the Braden River High School Twitter account has been pretty active over the last week, nothing has been said about Lizzy or her complaints. Lizzy says she’s not going to wear a bra for the remainder of the school year in protest — a decision which her mother is 100% on board.

    Lizzy’s mother told Buzzfeed: “It’s a disgusting example of a double standard and shows how our culture body-shames women. If a boy was staring at her nipples that long why was he not spoken to or punished?” She also wrote on Facebook that this issue isn’t just to get attention, saying: “This wasn’t for 15 minutes of fame….it was to bring shame to our school system. It was to encourage change. And anyone that knows me knows my personality and would understand why I let her pursue this.”

    Who do you think is in the wrong here? Let us know in the comments.

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