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'Bracott' to take place at Braden River High after student was told to cover nipples with bandages

Lizzy Martinez, 17, was asked by a school official at Braden River High to cover her nipples with Band-Aids, as she was causing a "distraction."
Lizzy Martinez, 17, was asked by a school official at Braden River High to cover her nipples with Band-Aids, as she was causing a "distraction." ttompkins@bradenton.com

Lizzy Martinez, the girl who decided not to wear a bra and was then told to hide her nipples at Braden River High School, is holding a "bracott" with fellow students on Monday.

Participating girls can forgo their bras, and participating boys could place bandages over their shirts — a reference to the incident on April 2, when school officials asked Martinez to put on a second shirt and then cover her nipples with bandages. Martinez, 17, said students can wear shirts that include a message if they feel uncomfortable with the other options.

The bracott, she said, is a form of silent protest that speaks not only to what happened at the school, but also what happens around the country.

"Besides the incident on Monday, I think it's been an ongoing issue that women have these standards that they have to supposedly live up to, even with the women's rights march; the Me Too movement," she said. "I think it's all very relevant."

A divide appeared on social media after Martinez's story spread across the country and the world. While many were shocked that someone would leave home without a bra, others were equally shocked that it was an issue.

She said the divide has existed for decades, citing a bra-burning movement that happened in the 1960s. Many celebrated liberation and the message behind leaving a bra at home or downright destroying it. Others looked on in horror.

A flood of support keeps Martinez going as she faces an equal amount of hate from online commenters. Monday's bracott, she said, is a chance to push for positive changes in Manatee County and beyond.

The county school district declined to comment. It previously stated that actions were taken to prevent a similar incident, adding that school administrators were trying to correct a dress code violation.

"I've always wanted to see some sort of education to students on not stigmatizing and objectifying bodies in general," Martinez said.

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