Ontario’s education minister said he has asked the Ontario College of Teachers to review professional conduct provisions after images circulated online showing a teacher wearing large prosthetic breasts in a classroom.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Stephen Lecce said while the province celebrates differences, it also believes “there must be the highest standards of professionalism in front of our kids.”
“On that basis I’ve asked the Ontario College of Teachers to review and to consider strengthening those provisions with respect to professional conduct, which we think would be in the interest of all kids in Ontario.”
Little context has been provided for the photos by either the province or the Halton District School Board (HDSB), who says they can’t speak about it as it’s a “personnel matter.”
Images of the employee, reportedly from Oakville Trafalgar High School, have been shared widely on social media over the past few weeks.
In the photos, the individual is wearing large prosthetic breasts, which are covered by clothing, while standing with students.
At least one protest organized by Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, was scheduled over the weekend. The politician said they were protesting against the “hyper-sexualized and grotesque costume” while demanding “action.”
Heather Francey, HDSB’s manager of communication and engagement, told CTV News Toronto the board is committed to maintaining a “safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming” learning and working environment.
“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,” Francey said.
The Ontario College of Teachers is an entity that licenses, governs and regulates the teaching profession. According to its website, they have the ability to issue, suspend and revoke teaching certificates, set ethical standards of practice, and investigate complaints about members.
Witih files from Hannah Alberga