High School Student Forced to Cover ‘Distracting’ Nipples With Band-Aids

Being a female student and not wearing a bra is enough to get you summoned to the dean’s office at one Florida high school.

Earlier this month, 17-year-old Lizzy Martinez came to Braden River High School in Bradenton, Florida, wearing a large, long-sleeve Calvin Klein shirt, with no bra underneath

After her fifth-period class, Martinez was called to the office of the dean, who told the high school junior that her nipples were “distracting” and that she was violating the school dress code

First the dean had Martinez put on a t-shirt under her Calvin Klein shirt, with the idea that this would restrict her breast movement.

To her bewilderment, Martinez was then asked to stand up and move around. The dean determined that her breasts were still distracting, and she sent Martinez to the nurse’s office – who then gave the young woman four band-aids to put over her nipples. 

When Kelsey Bourgeois heard about the incident, she was outraged and decided to create a petition, writing “Yet another young girl has been sexualized and penalized simply for existing.”

The story has clearly struck a chord with Care2 members, and the petition has already garnered over 17,000 signatures.

Martinez told her story in a tweet:

I decided not to wear a bra today and got pulled out of class bc one of my teachers complained that it was a “distraction to boys in my class.” My school basically told me that boys’ education is far more important than mine and I should be ashamed of my body.

The post quickly went viral, receiving over 45,000 likes and more than 13,000 retweets. Over 4,000 people liked a comment that said, “They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Martinez’s mother, Kari Knop, was horrified to receive a tearful phone call from her daughter at school, recounting what had happened.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Knop said, “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?” 

The Manatee County School District has issued this response:

It is understood 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.

There was a violation of the School Dress Code and it was an appropriate matter to address by the School. It is clear the intent of school officials was to assist the student in addressing the situation. No disciplinary action was taken in relation to the student.

Indeed there should not be. But what about the boys and the teacher who body-shamed Martinez? They deserve to have disciplinary action taken against them. After all, it’s the boys who were inappropriately fixated on her breasts.

In fact, the school’s dress code makes no mention of bras or any other undergarment, so Martinez was not even in violation of this rule. 

As the petition states, “Lizzy says she went into the bathroom and just cried. She was shocked and embarrassed and violated. All because of OTHER PEOPLE’S experience of her appearance. She was shamed and punished simply for existing.”

Take Action!

If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition demanding that Braden River High School ensure that justice is served to all who shamed this young student.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo Credit: Lizzy Martinez


Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Roberto M
Roberto MARINI8 months ago

thanks for sharing this article.

Danuta W
Danuta W9 months ago

thank you for posting

Paula A
Paula A9 months ago

thank you

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill10 months ago

Sounds like it’s the boy’s problem!

Karen H
Karen H10 months ago

Nipples are part of a woman's anatomy. Why is it so horrible that they might be visible (even under clothes), when men are encouraged to doff their shits? What a puritanical country America has become.

Inez w
Inez w10 months ago

Women have a long way to go in regards to equality, especially when other women are hating on, and blaming on another women...
Didn't some of the older generation burn their bleedin bras for women's lib?
Well, I guess that whole women's lib doesn't count for this poor young lady then does it.
For shame on all you shamers!!!!

Chad Anderson
Chad A10 months ago

Thank you!

ANA MARIJA R10 months ago

And the boys are still mentally disabled human beings and can't control??? ..... in 2018. just asking?

Karen H
Karen H11 months ago

Wow. So many victim blamers. Read this article in other sources for more comprehensive details. Having her jump up and down in front of the dean is ridiculous. If you can't see the nipples when she's standing there, what makes you think it's okay to make her jump around to see what happens?