Teacher Who Wears Large Prosthetic Breasts Subject Of College Review, Possible Lawsuit
Authored by Tara MacIsaac via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A teacher in Oakville, Ontario, who wears large prosthetic breasts in class has been the subject of protests, bomb threats, a College of Teachers review—and now, potentially, a lawsuit.
The teacher at Oakville Trafalgar High School wears oversized prosthetic breasts with protruding nipples, under tight-fitting shirts. Pictures of the teacher posted on social media by students have received international attention.
The school had four bomb threats from September through November targeting the teacher. One demanded, for example, that the teacher be fired. No explosives were found at the school, and no arrests were made.
Parents of students at the school have formed a group called Students First Ontario and say their concerns have not been adequately addressed.
“We have retained legal counsel and are in the process of moving forward with a legal strategy,” the group told The Epoch Times via email. This announcement follows up on a recent review of the case by the Ontario College of Teachers.
Professional Conduct Review
The controversy around the Oakville teacher came to the attention of Education Minister Stephen Lecce, who asked the Ontario College of Teachers in September to “consider strengthening” professional standards.
“In this province, in our schools, we celebrate our differences,” he told reporters at Queen’s Park. “We also believe there must be the highest standards of professionalism for our kids, and on that basis, I’ve asked the Ontario College of Teachers to review and to consider strengthening those provisions.”
— Royce Lopez (@hippojuicefilm) September 14, 2022
The college completed the requested review October 14, though its contents were first made public Dec. 5 by the National Post. The Epoch Times has obtained a copy of the review.
It concludes that no strengthening of professional standards is needed. It said the standards of conduct already in place for teachers should be sufficient to address the situation at the Oakville school.
“Following our review, Council has concluded that the standards, governing legislation and supporting resources appropriately address professionalism in today’s modern learning environment,” the review said. “All Ontario Certified Teachers, in their position of trust, are expected to demonstrate responsibility and sound judgement in their relationships with students.”
It suggested that the teacher in question should review the standards already in place. It said there is a “critical need for teachers to adhere to government and employer policies and protocols, as part of their commitment to teacher professionalism. For example, the College’s Essential Advice for the Teaching Profession advises that ‘OCTs should consult their employers’ policies to ensure that they know and follow the expectations and obligations in their particular workplaces and communities.’”
College spokesperson Andrew Fairfield said the college cannot discuss any complaints or concerns filed against teachers. A search of the teacher’s name in the college database shows the teacher is in “good standing.”
‘A Safe Environment’
At a protest outside the school in September, parent Dave Kvesic told The Epoch Times, “Kids should have a safe environment to learn free of ridiculous distractions.” He said the protest wasn’t about “transphobia.” It was “just about my kids.”
Since that time, some parents have expressed continued frustration with the Halton District School Board (HDSB).
In a Nov. 21 statement, the Students First parent group said, “parents have been largely silenced by HDSB administrators and there has been little desire for open inquiry, transparency, and accountability.”
It continued: “Many parents/students have significant questions that need to be addressed given the HDSB’s insistence that there are effectively ‘no boundaries’ when it comes to the ‘expression’ of adults in the company of minors in a publicly-funded school system. It appears our children are part of a social experiment—one that is testing the limits of ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.’”
HDSB spokesperson Heather Francey did not respond specifically to questions about the parents’ concerns regarding the teacher as of publication. But she said via email, “We have every confidence in the security measures and safety procedures in place at all Halton District School Board (HDSB) schools. …. The HDSB and police work together to investigate threats.”
Board Chair Margo Shuttleworth told The Epoch Times in September that HDSB supports the teacher “as prescribed by the Ontario Charter of Human Rights.”
Moral Codes, Dress Codes
The parent group criticized Shuttleworth for requesting a change to the Education Act that would remove section 264 (1)(c), related to religion and morals. Shuttleworth made the request in an Oct. 20 letter to Education Minister Lecce.
The section in question says that a teacher’s duties include, “to inculcate by precept and example respect for religion and the principles of Judaeo-Christian morality and the highest regard for truth, justice, loyalty, love of country, humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, purity, temperance and all other virtues.”
Shuttleworth requested that it be replaced with a clause that reflects “contemporary and current diversity, equity and inclusion policy and practices, and to reflect the Calls to Action 62 and 63s brought forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
HDSB recently considered a proposal to implement a dress code for staff. The proposal was made by board trustees. On Nov. 9, HDSB Superintendent of Human Resources, Sari Taha, said at a board meeting that a dress code for teachers would likely be found discriminatory and should not be implemented.
He said as an employer, the board has the right to implement a dress code or rule for employees as any business does. But, if a dress code places additional burdens on one gender over another, that’s a problem.
A dress code that results in “deferential treatment—that’s key to really pay attention to this word, deferential treatment—will generally be found to be discriminatory,” Taha said.
“Arbitrators will often engage in a balancing of the employer’s legitimate business interest with employees’ interest in personal expression. The employer bears the burden in these cases to establish that the employee’s appearances pose a real threat to its business that is more important than the rights of the employee,” Taha said. “And that is the burden of proof on us if we are to establish a dress code.”
The Epoch Times reporter Peter Wilson contributed to this report.
Mon, 12/05/2022 – 20:20