Students across the country will go to school without wearing bras on Monday in a protest dubbed #BraCott after a female high school student was told to use Band-Aids to cover up her nipples by school administrators in Bradenton, Florida.
“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,” 17-year-old Lizzy Martinez tweeted. “My school basically told me that boys’ education is far more important than mine and I should be ashamed of my body.”
Lizzy’s mother, Kari Knop, said that her daughter had a sunburn which is why she decided not to wear a bra that day.
Knop said that the female dean had Lizzy put on a second shirt and then asked her to stand up and move around.
Unsatisfied that the second shirt sufficiently covered up the student’s nipples, the dean then instructed Lizzy to go to the school nurse to get Band-Aids to cover up her nipples. She later returned to class, but soon called her mother to pick her up because she felt humiliated.
Lizzy’s tweets about her experience went viral and her story garnered national headlines.
Lizzy then took the opportunity of the media attention to call for a nationwide student protest on Monday, April 16, 2018 with the hashtag #BraCott where female students will go to school without bras while male students will wear Band-Aids over their shirts.
The School District of Manatee County, which encompasses Bradenton, Florida, did not issue a response to the planned protest.
Brevard Public Schools did not provide a statement as to what, if any, disciplinary actions would be taken if students on Florida’s Space Coast participated in the nationwide student protest on Monday.
#BraCott is yet another chapter in student activism on high school campuses following the Florida school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
With an eye towards riding a wave of activism for more funding, school administrations across the country went so far as to organize and facilitate the Parkland protests on campus.
However, the long term consequence of that policy appears to have opened up public high school campuses to regular political protests for any cause – a public square forum that had been largely experienced at college campuses prior to Parkland.