A Manatee County mother is outraged and saying her daughter's school went too far this week in enforcing the school's dress code during an incident earlier this week.
- Student Lizzy Knop told her outfit was a "distraction" to other students
- Administrators pointed out Knop not wearing a bra
- School dress code currently does not mandate undergarments
According to Kari Knop, her 17-year-old daughter, Lizzy, a student at Braden River High School, wore a gray crew neck shirt to school, an outfit school administrators said was a distraction to students.
Specifically, administrators pointed out that Lizzy was not wearing a bra, which was true -- Knop says Lizzy had a sunburn that day and chose not to wear a bra to school.
What Knop has a problem with is how school officials attempted to resolve the problem.
"The dean, after having [Lizzy] put on the undershirt, asked her to stand up and move around," Knop explained. "They handed her four band-aids and told her to 'X' out her nipples."
Knop went on to say the school calling her daughter out for her attire was unfair.
"It's a unisex shirt, if you will," Knop said. "Guys wear it every day and we would never be staring at their nipples to see if they were hard and x them out because we didn’t like their nipples showing through."
Knop then took the issue to Dr. Diana Greene, the superintendent of Manatee County Schools.
"I said, 'Your dress code doesn’t require undergarments,' and then she proceeded to tell me that next year undergarments will be added to the dress code, because girls should be expected to wear them."
We reached out to the school district and received this response from their general counsel.
"This matter was brought to the attention of the Superintendent’s Office for review. It is undisputed that this matter should have been handled differently at the school level and corrective measures have been taken to prevent a re-occurrence in the way these matters will be addressed in the future.
There was a violation of the School Dress Code and that it was an appropriate matter to address by the School. It is clear that the intent of school officials were to assist the student in addressing the situation. No disciplinary action was taken in relation to the student.”
(The section below is from page 28 of the 2017-2018 School District of Manatee County Code of Student Conduct)
SCHOOL DRESS CODE
You are expected to dress appropriately for school and for the business of learning with proper attention given to personal cleanliness, grooming, and neatness. If your personal attire or grooming distracts the attention of other students or teachers from their school work, disrupts educational activities and processes of the school, or is a potential safety hazard, you will be required to make the necessary alterations to such attire or grooming before entering the classroom or you may be assigned to In-School Suspension (ISS).
If you fail to meet the minimum acceptable standards of cleanliness, neatness, proper fit, safety and decency as determined by the principal or designee and as specified in the District Code of Student Conduct, you will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures. You are additionally prohibited from wearing clothes that expose underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or attire that disrupts the orderly learning environment.
In addition to no disciplinary action being taken against Lizzy in this case, she and Knop will receive an apology from the school. Kari told us she's still at a loss for words.
"It should have never happened and I’m mortified for my daughter," she said.