A Florida student says she was humiliated when school officials decided her “protruding” nipples were a distraction and asked her to hide them with Band-Aids.
Lizzy Martinez, 17, claimed she was called in to the dean’s office Monday at Branden River High School, where she was told that her lack of a bra was drawing stares from other students, the Bradenton Herald reported.
“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 newspaper. “And then she asked me to move around.”
But the second layer wasn’t up to the dean’s satisfaction, Martinez said, and she was directed to the nurse’s office where she was handed Band-Aids to cover each nipple. The teen said the incident made her so uncomfortable that she was brought to tears and left school early.
Her mom, Kari Knop, said she was horrified by how the school handled the situation. In the car, Martinez revealed to her mother that she was given bandages to hide her nipples, causing her mom to slam the brakes of the vehicle.
“I stopped and I looked over at her, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, you have to be kidding me,’” Knop said. Frustrated, Knop returned to the school Wednesday to meet with administrators about the matter.
“We should not treat a girl like this because of where her fat cells decided to distribute genetically,” Knop said.
Knop also reportedly spoke on the phone with Manatee County Schools superintendent Diana Greene, who suggested, like other administrators, that the teen’s “protruding” nipples were distracting the students.
School officials admitted in a statement that the situation should’ve been handled differently.
“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.”