A Canadian high school has implied it would be illegal to criticize and stop a trans teacher from wearing huge prosthetic breasts in class.
Kayla Lemieux, a Manufacturing Technology teacher at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Ontario, was recently pictured instructing a shop class with the large prosthetics on, which stretch her clothing and stick out prominently.
Despite the heavy backlash and reports that some students are skipping class, The Halton District School Board defended the teacher and said it would no longer answer questions about the issue because it was a ‘personnel matter.’
The district also claimed that interfering or criticizing the teacher would go against the Ontario Human Rights Code.
‘The HDSB 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,’ the board said in a statement.
Meanwhile, parents and students at the high school appeared split on the issue.
Owen LaPlante, a 12th grader at the school, told the Toronto Sun that while some people support Lemieux, others are not comfortable with the situation.
‘I’m okay with it,’ he said. ‘I know some of my friends are a little uncomfortable with it, but I think she should be able to express herself however she wants to.’
The Halton District School Board suggested it would be a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code to criticize or stop Oakville Trafalgar High School shop teacher Kayla Lemieux (above) from wearing huge breast prosthetics
Lemieux was pictured and recorded by students wearing the large prosthetics in class. The pictures have gone viral, with many criticizing the teacher’s attire
The prosthetics were so large they stretched her clothing and stuck out prominently (right)
Yuxuan Xie, a student in grade 10, told the Sun that most of the kids in school seem to have brushed the incident off.
‘I don’t really hear anyone talking about it,’ he said. ‘I think, maybe, we don’t care about that.’
A woman identifying herself as Lei, a mother of a senior at the school, told the Sun that while she was ok with Lemieux coming out as a trans woman, she said wearing such large prosthetics was too much.
‘I think he’s going a little too far,’ Lei said. ‘I think identifying himself is ok, but I think that just wearing that in the classroom… I still have concerns over that.’
After the video came out over the weekend, the district had expected a wave of protestors to come demonstrate outside the high school.
Although police were stationed around the school, only one protestor showed up claiming to be a former student while waving the Canadian flag.
The protestor, who did not give out his name, told the Sun: ‘I think it’s fundamentally wrong that this individual is able to work at an institution as such, with huge breasts on. It’s gross.’
Parents and other concerned citizens are currently planning to confront the district at it next board meeting on Friday, September 23, and demand something be done about Lemieux’s attire.
A lone protestor waving a Canadian flag (above) showed up to the school on Monday
Police were stationed at the Oakville Trafalgar High School, about 10 miles outside Toronto
HDSB Chair Margo Shuttleworth (above) defended Lemieux as an ‘extremely effective teacher’
Lemieux, who began transitioning from male to a female a year ago, has gone viral online after students posted photos and videos of the teacher.
In its original statement to parents defending the teacher, the school said: ‘As a school within the Halton District School Board (HDSB), Oakville Trafalgar High School recognizes the rights of students, staff, parents/guardians and community members to equitable treatment without discrimination based upon gender identity and gender expression.
‘We strive to promote a positive learning environment in schools consistent with the values of the HDSB and to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socioeconomic circumstances or body type/size.’
HDSB Chair Margo Shuttleworth told the Sun that staff are looking at ‘going through creating a safety plan’ to ensure the Oakville Trafalgar High School teacher’s security as they prepare for potential protests when the school opens for classes Monday.
‘This teacher (who teaches shop) is an extremely effective teacher,’ said Shuttleworth. ‘All the kids really love being in the class.’
Despite the praise for the teacher, Shuttleworth also admitted that she’s gotten several calls from parents complaining about the situation.
Lemieux, who began transitioning from male to a female a year ago, has gone viral online after students posted photos and videos of the teacher
The school board said in a statement that ‘gender identity and gender expression are protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code’