Her boobs were too distracting, school officials reportedly told her.
Is going braless under a long-sleeve T-shirt offensive enough to get called out of class? The Bradenton, Florida school district seems to think so. That's where one 17-year-old student said she was body-shamed by school administrators after she arrived at Braden River High School without wearing a bra.
In a now-viral tweet, Lizzy Martinez related her story. “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,'" she shared with Twitter followers on April 2. “My school basically told me that boys’ education is far more important than mine and I should be ashamed of my body.”
Within a few days, the tweet had racked up over 45,000 likes and more than 13,000 retweets. People were shocked to hear that her outfit caused such a stir, and over 4,000 liked a comment that said, “They should be ashamed of themselves.”
“They said my outfit was ‘distracting others’ lmk how a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans are distracting..” she continued in another tweet. “smh at body shaming if another girl with smaller boobs or a guy was wearing my t-shirt it wouldn’t have been ‘inappropriate.’ “
In a more detailed explanation of what went down, Martinez’s mom, Kari Knop, told Facebook friends that her daughter was asked to put Band-Aids over her nipples in an attempt to cover them up. She was also asked to put on another shirt over her T-shirt, and after she did, a dean had her "move around" to see if her breasts bounced underneath.
On the day Martinez was body-shamed for going braless, her mom shared the following message:
“Her shirt was not see-through, it was a thick long sleeve gray shirt...but because a teacher said that ‘students’ found it to be ‘distracting,’ they chose to call me as they asked my daughter to put on a second shirt….. After putting on the second shirt, the dean then asked my child to stand up and move around (to see how much her breasts bounced),” wrote Knop.
The mother and daughter have received an overwhelming response from people thanking them for speaking out. Knop tells Health that Braden River High School has not apologized for administrators’ actions.
“I feel bad that Lizzy is the poster child for sex discrimination. . . . But my daughter is strong and has an ability to rise above,” she says.