A protest at Helena High School in Montana began when senior Kaitlyn Juvik was called into the office for a supposed dress code violation.
School principal Steve Thennis would not provide more details on the violation Juvick committed but did say it wasn’t about her not wearing a bra. Thennis said it was because someone was uncomfortable with the way Juvik was dressed, so she was requested to cover up or put a bra on.
Juvik says it’s true she wasn’t wearing a bra. “What I was confronted about was wrong … As long as nothing is showing and you’re covered up, girls should not have to wear a bra,” Juvik explained to local media.
The Helena High School student handbook does not require students to wear undergarments.
Students who came together to protest during lunch in support of Juvik say there is no dress code rule about bras, so the school does not have the right to ask Juvik to change.
“The fact that I was told it makes people uncomfortable offended me because it’s my body,” Juvik explained outside the school Friday. “It is my natural body and I’m not sure why that is uncomfortable to somebody.”
A Facebook page called “No Bra, No Problem” created by students has gone viral. Hundreds of students and others have joined and liked the page that supports Juvik.
Principal Thennis notes the Facebook post has become a distraction for school administrators.
Juvik’s mother posted the following comment on a local TV station’s Facebook page after a story about the protest aired:
“I stand behind my daughter 100%! I am very proud of the point she is trying to make and the movement that she and her friends have created. This movement is not just about wearing/not wearing a bra. Our daughters are body shamed and sexualized on a daily basis. We need to teach them to be comfortable in their own skin and not feel like they have to hide under their clothes. The schools have bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether or not my daughter is wearing a bra! Ask your daughters if they wear a bra on a regular basis, I think you will be surprised by the answer!”
Students tell MTN News the protests will continue on Tuesday when male students will wear bras on the outside of their clothes. Principal Thennis says he will be joining the protest with his own bra.