A student in Bradenton, Florida, said she was asked to cover her nipple with a bandage after she was distracted by other students at Braden High School last week.
Last Monday, 17-year-old Liz Martinez decided not to wear a corset style bra under her grey long-sleeved shirt. School officials felt that she had become the goal of her classmates’ gaze.
Martinez said that when the school director Violeta Velazquez called her to the office, shame began. Martinez felt himself bullied by classmates, but Velazquez said there was a distraction that needed to be resolved.
“She told me that I need to put on my shirt under my long-sleeved shirt and try to tighten my chest – tighten them,” Martinez said. “Then she let me go around.”
Obviously the second shirt is not enough, Martinez said, because she was sent to the nurse’s office. The nurse handed Martinez four bands, two covering each nipple and causing her to cry.
On Thursday afternoon, the school district admitted that Braden River officials could better handle this situation, but the area said they were only trying to enforce the dress code in the area.
“The matter has been brought to the office of the Superintendent for review,” Mitchell Teitebaum, the district’s general counsel, said in a prepared statement. “There is no dispute that schools should handle this problem differently, and corrective measures have been taken to prevent the recurrence of these problems in the future.”
Teitelbaum said that Martinez violated the dress code, dressed in ways that distract other students, and that school officials only tried to help her correct violations.
“The school district student code of conduct states: “You should dress appropriately in school and study business, and pay due attention to personal cleanliness, grooming, and tidyness.
The dress code does not specifically address or require a corset style bra.
Martinez’s mother Karinop said Monday morning she received a call from her office. She said that the deputy said she was involved in her daughter’s “sensitive issue.” Said she was uncomfortable and could not hear Martinez leaving the school early.
“If a male director asked my daughter to do this, we wouldn’t even call to prove it, so we shouldn’t do it as a female dean,” Knop said.
On Tuesday, Martinez was called to the office because his mother requested another telephone conversation with the school official. Unsatisfied with the conversation, Knopp once again picked up her daughter and left the school.
Knopp said that it was Martinez’s time to disclose school officials to bandage her. Knop said she slammed the brakes on the car when she was in the school parking lot.
“I stopped and I looked at her. I was like ‘Oh, my gosh, you have to be kidding,’” she said.
Knop said she later contacted Willie Clark, the student service director of the Manatee County School District, and he arranged a meeting with high school officials.
On Wednesday, Knopp met Clarke, Dean, School Nurse and Principal Sharon Scarborough. Knop said that the conference is an opportunity to express her frustration.
She said: “We shouldn’t treat such girls like this because her fat cells decide where to assign genes.”
Knopp said that she also sent Superintendent Diana Green through the e-mail that night and she soon received a call.
Although Green initially sympathized with Martinez, her mother said that she later said that the girl’s “prominent” nipple may distract other students – this is a violation of the dress in the area.
Martinez said she plans not to wear corset style bra to protest what happened. On Monday, she marked the school in a Twitter post and said: “Stop sexing my body.”
According to a screenshot she provided on Thursday, the school’s Twitter account later stopped Martinez.
“Those students who laugh, sing, or talk about me should be solved, not me, because I am not a problem there,” Martinez said.