Oakville school to get dress code after teacher wears huge prosthetic breasts to class
An Ontario school board is saying yes to dress codes in the wake of a scandal involving an Oakville high school teacher who, since going viral last year, has become known for wearing enormous prosthetic breasts (under very tight clothing) to class.
Kayla Lemiuex, a transgender woman, started making headlines in September of 2022 after an American radio host tweeted photos and videos of the busty educator that had been shared on Snapchat by students at Oakville Trafalgar High School.
The clips showed a woman with long blonde hair wearing an apparent chest piece with size Z prosthetic breasts, as well as bicycle shorts and various tops so tight that the chest piece's nipples were clearly visible to students.
People from all over the world were shocked to see someone teaching shop class in such garb — for safety reasons alone — and many decried the manufacturing technology instructor's wardrobe as inappropriate for school.
One video of the teacher in question had been viewed more than 750,000 times within 24 hours of going live on Twitter, resulting in a wave of online harassment against Oakville Trafalgar High School and the board that operates it.
The Halton District School Board (HDBS) immediately defended the teacher's right 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 at the time. "As this is a personnel matter, we cannot provide further information."
The following months were rife with petitions, protests, legal threats, parodies, international news coverage, threats of suspension for students taking photos of the teacher, safety concerns including bomb threats for the school community, some strange performance art and some even stranger memes.
The HDSB was asked to review its dress code in light of the controversy early on in the saga, but concluded in November that adopting dress code rules for staff could prove problematic based on human rights legislation.
"It is clear from the above analysis that the implementation of a formal staff dress code or grooming standards would likely expose the Board to considerable liability," wrote school board officials in a statement at the time.
"Even if a dress code is implemented for non-discriminatory reasons, it would likely be found to be discriminatory where it adversely affects an employee or group of employees on the basis of their Code-protected
Now facing threats of legal action from parents who argue that teachers should abide by the same dress code as students, as well as threats of violence from radical critics, the school board appears to be reversing its position.
Maybe the bomb threats at the other Oakville schools will stop now too...— John Perenack 🇺🇦 (@JohnPerenack) January 10, 2023
A representative for the Halton District School Board told blogTO that a motion was passed during a special Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 3, 2023, requesting that its Director of Education "develop a professionalism policy which outlines the HDSB's expectations of all staff members."
The policy, set to be presented in a report to the board by March 1, 2023, will address "the requirement to maintain appropriate and professional standards of dress and decorum in the classroom in keeping with the provisions outlined in the body of this report."
"The HDSB's commitment to human rights remains rooted in our core values and commitment to each and every student and staff who identifies as a member of an underserved and underrepresented group, and our approach is informed by opinions from leading employment law firms with human rights and equity advisors," said HDSB Director of Education Curtis Ennis in a statement emailed to blogTO on Tuesday.
"This commitment and approach will continue to be applied as the HDSB looks to fulfill this motion."
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