Date published: November 18, 2022
Written by: George Schneider
Reviewed by: Maria Belykh
Kayla Lemieux, a biologically male shop teacher in Ontario’s Halton District School Board, attended school wearing a blonde wig and enormous prosthetic breasts with prominent protruding nipples, completely inappropriate for a high school teacher.
The Halton District School Board has claimed they are legally unable to impose a dress code on Lemieux. The suggestion is stupid and contrary to the law because employers always have the right to ensure employees are appropriately attired. Lawyers wear robes in court, members of the Toronto Symphony attend concerts dressed in black, and servers all over the world are told to wear uniforms. Human rights legislation is meant to protect employees, not to protect the right to dress tastelessly.
Halton is terrified to take appropriate action because Lemieux identifies as transgender. Rather than advising Lemieux to go home and change into some reasonably sized breasts or some other non-sexualized attire, Halton is accommodating Lemieux.
Recognizing gender identity does not permit vulgarity or sexualization and Halton has the legal ability to insist that teachers wear appropriate attire to school. Instead, Halton is creating a precedent and legally opening the door for further abuses. Halton is failing its students and its teachers in refusing to deal with such outrageous conduct.