That’s Not It: School Suggests 13 Year Old Gets Breast Reduction To Stop Harrassment At School

January 23, 2013  |  


Middle school can be a tough time for any child but school administrators are supposed to be there to step in, in case things get too far out of hand. But unfortunately, for Tammie Jackson and her 13 year old daughter that was not the case.

Tammie Jackson, of St Louis County, Missouri, said that her 13 year old daughter Gabrielle has been experiencing sexual harassment because of the size of her breasts. When Tammie called the school district to inform them of the issue, instead of looking into the issue, having a conversation with the students in question, they suggested that Tammie get her daughter a breast reduction.

Once the news hit, the school claimed they’re investigating the issue and were going to provide counseling for students who are undergoing bullying issues.

But still for Tammie, the initial response she received was inappropriate, “Talk with the kids. Let them know people’s bodies are changing, everybody is different, but God made us all great.”

A breast reduction, huh? At thirteen? As women, our bodies aren’t even done growing at thirteen. What legit surgeon would take her on as a patient? The suggestion is not only ridiculous, it’s unhealthy, both emotionally and physically if she were to decide to actually go through with it. I hope the school rectifies this situation but really it’s not all that surprising to me. After all, this is America where misogynist attitudes reign. This suggestion of getting a breast reduction is right along in the same vein with people, men and women alike, blaming involuntary sex victims.

How do you think the school should have handled this situation? If this were your daughter what would you have done at this very inappropriate, very insensitive suggestion?



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  • Doneisha

    I go to high school in blythewood,sc and it was this girl who breast were really huge and our school gave her money for the breast reduction and when she came back to school you wouldnt even know she had huge breast…. Schools these days’

  • B

    The school should have immediately suspended the students in question. The school should have called those questionable students into the office with their parents for a conference. The school should have held an assembly with students to let them know that bullying and harassment are not okay as well as sent notices home through the mail to the parents of every student as students can’t be trusted to deliver school notices to their parents. This, and many other societies, take on the blame-the-woman approach because they don’t have the balls to admit their faults.

  • Yes, let’s suggest the young woman get an expensive and unnecessary surgery that carries the risk (that any major surgery has) of long-reaching health complications. I’d like to meet the surgeon who’d agree to perform this elective surgery on a healthy child. (And there is nothing to suggest here that the young lady’s breasts are causing her any grief physically.)

    Nevermind that in the opposite direction having small breasts does nothing to stop bullies and sexual harassers– I speak from experience. Bullying and sexual harassment/assault has nothing to do with the victim’s appearance and everything to do with the perpetrator’s need to exert power and elicit fear.

    But no, let’s not do anything to change the behavior of the little tyrants who make other childrens’ lives miserable. There’s just no way they’ll grow up and graduate to bigger and more heinous behavior because they got away with the “small” stuff. [/sarcasm]

  • Candacey Doris

    I know what she’s going through. By 13 i was a c cup and growing. At 16 I was a DD. And no surgeon will even think about doing a reduction on a thirteen year old girl, not a good one. Her mother should have recorded that conversation or gotten it on paper and gotten a lawyer involved.

  • Just Peachy!

    I just hope this mother does all she can to reinforce the message to her daughter to accept her self image, once puberty is over and when she is an adult it just may be a non-issue. Yes she does need to sue the school if their only suggestion is surgery and not trying to stop the harassment

  • Maldrie

    Wtf? The “adults” and I use that term with care, are supposed to protect the children and do whatever they can to ensure that they are safe, not being harmed in any shape or form and they say some shizz like that. Nope uh-huh not having it. I would have cursed (cussed to some) those people out for everything but the name of the King. Smh, what has society, schools and the world in general come to?

  • heyyou

    Well is it a bad thing? Maybe they shouldn’t have made her feel like she is doing something wrong and not her bullies. But large breasts can cause a lot of problems. I see nothing wrong with a reduction.

    • ANirvana

      smh either you don’t read, or you don’t get the fact that she’s 13! she’s not done growing,so what would be the point of a reduction? and her breasts may remain that size, so that when she grows up, they won’t be as big for her frame.

    • Heather

      MAYBE they shouldn’t have made her feel like she is doing something wrong??? By being 13 and having breasts? Nothing wrong with their suggestion? What if you had big ears, or a ugly nose, or whatever like that and someone suggested that if you didn’t want to be bulled over it you should get plastic surgery to fix that? Do you thank THAT would be an appropriate suggestion? She is a child, and no child should be undergoing major surgery for anything but absolute necessity.

    • B

      You are missing the point of the article!!!! Are you a male? Biologically speaking females don’t stop “growing” until 18 years of age. She would not be getting the surgery because it is medically necessary but because some idiot thought it would stop the harassment. Read the damn article again. SMH.

  • phillygirl215

    no need to fuss or fight. a calm “thanks for your suggestion, can you please send me that in writing so that i can have my attorney look that over? im not familiar with body altering surgery as a solution for sexual harrassment in children” then let the school trip over themselves backpedaling and apologizing for their illegal and insensitive solution.

    • MLS2698

      Isn’t what the school district suggested just another form or sexual harassment, by asking her to change her body? Yeah, sounds like a payday to me!

  • After that statement was made I would suggest to them to contact their lawyers, because that there was also sexual harassment and improper medical advice. We send our children to school with the understanding that those in charge will protect them like their own. It took some time but, I finally got my son school to stop telling him to just ignore the bullying. One because I raise all kinds of hell and two because he started knocking kids out. If they don’t want to take the time and deal with growing problem of bullying in schools, then they need to step aside and let someone else do the job.

  • tiffanysince1987

    Definitely not their position to advise that anyone’s child go and get a breast reduction. School officials should have enough sense to know that they are reinforcing the bully’s ideology by implying the child needs corrective surgery because THEY believe it would be beneficiary for her. Why adults would want to plant that kind of seed in the mind of a young girl is beyond me.

  • hollyw

    I would’ve stopped the comment in its tracks by threatening to sue if my child went through one more day of sexual harassment. Almost all schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy, and in this day and age, not addressing can bring major repercussions to a school who ignores. They would’ve rounded them kids up and disciplined em quick, fast, and a hurry!

  • Just awful…..I know exactly how she must be feeling. When I was her age, my breasts were big as well and they kept growing up until I was in high school. It got too much for my back and shoulders to where I did end up getting a breast reduction. But luckily I was never harassed by the other kids because of my breasts. For the administration to tell her mother that she needs to get a reduction and that way they harassment will stop, oh my God you can’t be serious!

    Whoever was the schmuck who gave them the advice needs to be fired without pay. Yeah the children are supposed to be able to go to teachers, counselors and such and be able to talk with them about being bullied and stuff and to have them confidence ran down like that is unreal.

    I just hope that they get to the bottom of this and get things resolved and that this young lady will be able to go to school without being harassed like she has.

    • JaneDoe

      Yes girl I can relate also.. I remember beign in the 5 th grade and the girls made me feel so bad about having breast. I remember going to the bathroom with one of them one day to proof that my breast were real. It was so embarrassing bc they thought I stuffed my bra and to this day I still don’t feel my breast are huge.

      • j.n.w.

        That terrible ladies. And I would’ve gladly traded sizes with you. I was told I needed to grow some breast. Damned if you do damned if you don’t. Looks like you can’t win with cruel kids.

        • And that’s exactly the point and the problem. If she had smaller breasts, chances are the bullies would just glom onto some other trait to torment her with. By refusing to address the actual problem– the bullies’ behavior and a culture that gives its silent approval of such abuse, kids are basically getting free passes to act like monsters.

  • It is against the law for schools to suggest any type of medical procedure. The school is not and does not have a medically qualified individual on staff to make such drastic suggestions.

  • Mama Bear

    This is sad. Then when parents take matters into their own hands, they’re out of line.

    • IllyPhilly

      Agreed. WTF is going on with schools nowadays?

  • psylocke_2001

    Wow. Really? Get a breast reduction? That’s the best advice and the first thing that comes to mind on advising a teen to deal with harassment? What kind of educators are we dealing with in this day and age? They are supposed to help children feel safe whilst they are at school, not make them feel as if there is something wrong with their bodies.