A protest at Helena High School created a headache for school administrators on Friday.
It started when senior Kaitlyn Juvik was called into the office for an alleged dress code violation.
Principal Steve Thennis would not elaborate on what violation Juvick committed, but did say it wasn’t about her not wearing a bra. Thennis said it was because someone in the building was uncomfortable with the way Juvik was dressed, so she was asked to cover up or put a bra on.
Juvik admits 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 told MTN News.
“I’m not going to check student’s undergarments,” Thennis said. “We are going to ask them to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up.”
The Helena High School student handbook does not say if students are allowed to not wear undergarments.
The students who gathered during lunch in support of Juvik say because there is no rule, the school did not have a right to ask Juvik to change.
“The fact that I was told it makes people uncomfortable offended me because it’s my body,” Juvik told MTN during a gathering 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 took on a life of its own. Hundreds of students joined the page in support of Juvik. Principal Thennis says the page also caused a distraction for school administrators.
Juvik's mother Tami posted the following comment on the KXLH Facebook page after our story 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. Thennis says he already has a bra lined up.