Ontario school board defends teacher's right to wear massive prosthetic bust at work
A Toronto-area high school teacher continues to make headlines all over the world this week for repeatedly attending class in large prosthetic breasts and clothes so revealing that, per their employer's own policies, any student would be sent home for wearing them.
The educator in question, who is trans, rose to viral fame late last week after students at Oakville Trafalgar High School published some controversial images from school to Snapchat.
In the photos and videos shared, the teacher can be seen wearing short bicycle shorts and tops so tight that they can barely contain the massive chest prosthesis beneath them.
Nipples are visible through the teacher's shirt in many of the posts — and I'm not talking about the outline of nipples; some shirts pictured appear to be nearly sheer, giving students (and subsequently, people online) a clear view of the teacher's bust piece.
An American radio host tweeted out some of the student-shot footage in a now-viral thread on Sept. 14, sparking thousands of angry and transphobic comments.
One video of the chesty teacher in shop class has now been viewed more than 750,000 times on that account alone, resulting in a wave of online harassment against Oakville Trafalgar High School, the Halton District School Board and anyone sharing names reported to be those of the teacher, either currently or pre-transition.
When asked by blogTO on Friday about the teacher and backlash to their in-class look, the Halton District School Board (which operates Oakville Trafalgar) said that it "recognizes the rights of students, staff, parents/guardians and community members to equitable treatment without discrimination based upon gender identity and gender expression."
"Gender identity and gender expression are protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code," said a representative for the school board.
"As this is a personnel matter, we cannot provide further information."
The board told blogTO on Monday that its statement remains the same, reiterating that "the Halton District School Board is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming learning and working environment for all students and staff."
"We strive to promote and support a positive learning environment in schools consistent with the values of the school board," continued the statement, "and to ensure a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of their race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socio-economic circumstances, or body type/size."
Many agree that the teacher, who reportedly transitioned and changed their name last year, has a right to express their gender identity at school.
Some are suggesting, however, that it's unfair to allow this teacher to wear something so revealing when Oakville Trafalgar High School's website literally stipulates that "dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing that exposes or makes visible genitals and nipples."
The school remains steadfast in its stance, however, reportedly sending an email to parents of students saying:
"We are aware of discussion on social media and in the media regarding Oakville Trafalgar High School. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate to our community that we are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming learning and working environment for all students and staff. "
The email went on to share the same statement given to blogTO on both Friday and Monday.
A representative for the board also told blogTO on Monday that Twitter users were wrong when sharing what they believed to be the pre-transition name of the educator in question.
The rep said that another individual at the school was "mistakenly identified and is not related to this matter."
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