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A High School senior’s personal undergarment choice made her an internet sensation after sparking a protest and creating a headache for school administrators.
Kaitlyn Juvik, 18, was told by school officials that she was in violation of the Helena High School dress code one week before graduating.
The offense that landed her in the vice principal’s office last month was her choice to go bra-less, after deciding the garments were too restrictive and uncomfortable, People reported.
“I was told that a male teacher had complained he was uncomfortable because I wasn’t wearing a bra, and I was told to find something to cover up with,” said the Montana teen.
“When I left the office, I was so upset that I posted a picture of what I was wearing on Facebook, telling everyone, ‘If any of you are curious, this is the shirt I was wearing when I was called out.’ I most definitely wasn’t wearing anything against the dress code,” she told People.
Juvik’s classmate, Brooke Lanier, launched a Facebook page “No Bra, No Problem,” in support of the senior who was told to wear a bra to school. , Days later, about 300 female Helena High students went to school bra-less. They were joined by several male students who wore bras in a protest to support Juvik who was nicknamed “Kaitlyn the Braless Warrior.”
“The problem here should not have been Kaitlyn’s attire, but the morality of the male teacher,” Lanier said “As generations have progressed and women can now wear pants, I hope our movement will help our generation progress to equal treatment of male and female breasts and further gender equality in general.”
Classmate Samuel Tinsley, 17, found the school’s request to be inappropriate and immature.
“When I heard they were trying to impose on Kaitlyn’s self-expression, it really irritated me,” he said. “By making her change or go home to put on appropriate clothing, they’re basically saying that a boy’s education is more important than hers.”
Although the Helena High School handbook doesn’t specify that female students have to wear bras, the school’s principal Steve Thennis said Juvik “created a manufactured crisis.”
“I’m done talking about it other than to say this wasn’t the mass protest that everybody has made it out to be,” he told People. “Kaitlyn can continue to tell her side of the story, but I’ve spent enough time on this.”
Juvik graduated – without a bra under her graduation gown – but continues to speak out on the issue.
“Boys always get the excuse about their hormones, that ‘boys will be boys,'”she said, “but instead, perhaps people should start teaching boys not to sexualize women’s bodies. Wearing a bra is a personal choice. It’s my body. Why is it anybody else’s business whether I’m wearing a bra, especially when I’m covered up and dressed appropriately?”
The teen’s mother, Tami Juvik, 42, felt her daughter was “singled out” by school administration.
“The school has bigger fish to fry than whether my daughter is wearing a bra,” she said. “I’m proud of Kaitlyn for standing up for herself and opening the door to start a discussion about the body shaming and sexualizing of women.”
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