On Monday, fellow Braden River High School girls will be attending classes bra-free in solidarity with senior student Lizzy Martinez, who says school administration asked her to cover up her nipples with band-aids earlier this month when she showed up to class braless.
On April 2, the Florida teen drew national attention when she was removed from class for wearing a green long-sleeved t-shirt without a bra — a dress code violation, according to the district. The girl was allegedly told she was a "distraction" and says she was asked to slip on a tighter garment under her top to compress her nipples. After complying, she says she was asked to use band-aids to further cover her "protruding nipples."
To Martinez, the "bracott" is a feminist statement that goes beyond the school controversy. "Besides the incident on Monday, I think it's been an ongoing issue that women have these standards that they have to supposedly live up to, even with the women's rights march; the Me Too movement," she told the Bradenton Herald. "I think it's all very relevant."
Students who are unconformable with the bra-free request can wear shirts with feminist messaging on them, she told the paper, and male students can also participate by wearing band-aids across their shirts where their nipples are.
The 17-year-old noted that she's received strong support for her braless stand, telling the Bradenton Herald that Monday's bracott will advance positive change beyond the borders of Manatee County.
"I've always wanted to see some sort of education to students on not stigmatizing and objectifying bodies in general," the teen said.
The district said the incident should have been handled differently but claims administration was simply trying to tend to a dress code violation.
"This matter was brought to the attention of the Superintendent’s Office for review," Mitchell Teitelbaum, the district's general counsel, said in a 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."
The Code of Student Conduct says students are "expected to dress appropriately for school and for the business of learning with proper attention given to personal cleanliness, grooming and neatness," noted the district.