BRADENTON, Fla. — A Florida high school student said she was humiliated when she was asked by school officials to cover her nipples with bandages, The Bradenton Herald reported.
Lizzy Martinez, 17, said she decided not to wear a bra under her gray, long-sleeved shirt when she went to Braden River High School on Monday. She said she was called into the office of Dean Violeta Velazquez, who told her there was a “distraction” that had to be addressed.
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“She told me that I needed to put a shirt on under my long-sleeve shirt to try to tighten my breasts -- to constrict them," Martinez told the Herald on Thursday. "And then she asked me to move around.”
Velazquez apparently was not satisfied, because she sent Martinez to the nurse’s office. The nurse gave her four bandages and told her to use two to cover each nipple, the Herald reported, leaving the teen in tears.
School district officials said Thursday that while high school personnel could have handled the situation with more sensitivity, they were just trying to enforce the district’s dress code, the Herald reported.
“This matter was brought to the attention of the Superintendent’s Office for review," the district's general counsel, Mitchell Teitelbaum, said in a prepared statement. "It is undisputed that 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."
Teitelbaum added that Martinez violated the dress code by dressing in a way that distracted other students and school officials were only trying to help her fix the violation.
The dress code does not specifically address or require bras, the Herald reported.
On Wednesday, Martinez’s mother, Kari Knop, met with Braden River officials and expressed her frustration.
"We should not treat a girl like this because of where her fat cells decided to distribute genetically," she told the Herald.
Martinez said she plans to stop wearing a bra in protest of what happened. On Monday, she tagged the school in a tweet that said, "Stop sexualizing my body @piratenationhs."
The school's Twitter account later blocked Martinez, according to a screenshot she provided to the Herald on Thursday.
“The students that were laughing or snickering or talking about me -- that should have been addressed, not me, because I wasn’t the issue there," Martinez told the newspaper.
Cox Media Group