At an Ontario school board meeting on Wednesday night, parents’ anger boiled over as details and timelines for a proposed staff dress code remained unclear. This comes after months of continued bomb threats and international media attention on Oakville Trafalgar High School, where a teacher wears huge prosthetic breasts. The most recent bomb threat occurred on Wednesday, but classes were not cancelled.
The Halton District School Board (HDSB) announced in January that it would develop a “professionalism policy” including “standards of dress,” though it is uncertain whether this policy will stop the teacher, Kayla Lemieux, from wearing the breasts with protruding nipples. The board meeting included an interim report on the policy’s development, and the final policy is due to be presented on March 1, at which point parents and other stakeholders will be able to comment on it. Yet, it is unclear when or how the policy will be enforced due to a statutory freeze which does not allow the board to change the conditions of employment, including dress code.
Parent Julia De Winter believes the lengthy process of making a new policy is unnecessary, saying, “You just tell them it’s not appropriate to wear that to school.” The board was held back last year from committing to a dress code because of worries it would be considered “discriminatory” from a human rights perspective.
At the meeting, people called out criticisms against the board for not taking quicker, more decisive action. An especially vocal woman was escorted out by police, claiming Lemieux’s presence in the classroom constituted sexual abuse of the students. A transgender person named Julia Malott was allowed to speak at the meeting, defending the dress code and saying the exaggerated size of the prosthetic breasts is inappropriate.
Some parents at the school have hired lawyer Rishi Bandu, who has sent letters to the board on their behalf, demanding action and highlighting the board’s student dress code, which would prohibit Lemieux’s attire. Education Minister Stephen Lecce has also spoken out against Lemieux’s attire and urged the board to take action.
HDSB has said they are taking any intimidation or threat of violence seriously, but they believe the threats lack credibility. They have not responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on the board meeting and reactions of parents, as well as recent bomb threats.
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