Link to news article and tweet
"This is an extremely effective teacher. All the kids really love being in the class" says the school board Chair.— ♀️Jennifer Gingrich ✡️ (@fem_mb) September 17, 2022
The kids CAN'T say how uncomfortable they are when the adults in charge have declared it bigotry not to validate this teacher's fetish.https://t.co/usRevP1OxL
Image of the tweet
When Gender Theory Goes Too Far
As a trained Child and Youth Worker and children’s mental health professional that has worked at the Upper Grand District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board this image and news article are shocking to me. The Teacher is wearing giant prosthetic breasts and a long blond wig that is not tied back. While in shop class. Even if this was a biological woman, I would still find it shocking.
The breasts have erect nipples, which are protruding from tight shirts in various images throughout the Internet. One image is reproduced above and a few more will be below.
The school and school board it seems are approaching this from a gender theory lens and are claiming to prepare for “backlash”.
There is a lot to discuss in this situation. I’m going to look at the validity of the gender theory lens, how this impacts the kids and how this impacts other adults in the space, including other teachers, EA’s, YCW, Librarians, Custodial and other people within the school.
As Trustee I would protect children from being exposed to this through clear professional guidelines and strengthened language around teacher conduct.
Gender Theory Lens
It is one thing for a male to dress in female clothes to attend work. It is another thing entirely to wear absurdly oversized prosthetic breasts and parade around wearing tight shirts that highlight erect silicone nipples.
In the first situation, in my mind, this is a person who is dressing appropriately to teach their class. They may be wearing clothes that don’t match their biological sex, but they are behaving in a professional way and focusing on delivering a lesson to the children. I think each case would be individual and need to be assessed individually, but if the person was behaving in a professional manner and exhibiting the same standard of care as their non-trans peers, I would be much more open to the idea.
In this situation the teacher is not acting in a professional way. In the context of a public setting, in a school, with children, this highly sexualized display is completely inappropriate. Not to mention the teacher is demonstrating unsafe shop attire and habits. Having a long wig that is not tied back and high heels is not acceptable in a high school woodworking class. Their behaviour and dress distract from learning in a very measurable and impactful way. To dismiss concerns brought forward by parents, students or other teachers is abhorrent in this situation. Claiming that no one complained is not valid. This is a viral twitter post from students that is complaining with images and video that has had multiple news articles written about it. The HDSB is signaling that they will keep this teacher in class and “prepare for the backlash” instead of responding to outrage from students and parents.
It is maddeningly irresponsible behaviour from a school or school board to pit students and parents who have concerns against a teacher and school board who are behaving with such lack of professionalism. This approach harms students by exposing them to this situation for longer. It erodes the trust parents have in schools. The HDSB is failing in its response to this situation. I can’t help but wonder why the ministry and the government are still silent.
Not that long ago they would have put the teacher on paid leave to investigate the situation. Now, instead, they are allowing children to be unwilling participants in this teacher’s fetish. Instead of diffusing the situation they are putting out news reports about how they’re “preparing for backlash.” This approach harms the learning of these children.
Impact on Kids, Parents and Colleagues
If you were a student or a teacher in this school, would you be able to speak up? If you were a 14 year old girl who entered that classroom and were greeted with giant silicone breasts with erect nipples on a teacher, how do you think you’d react? How about a 14 year old boy?
Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine a student speaks up to the teacher, then the principal and then the superintendent. All of whom claim that this is simply gender expression and needs to be respected, and actually the student is being intolerant with their request to not participate in this teacher’s fetish.
What about a teacher during a staff meeting? Do you think any teacher would be able to raise their hand and say “this is not appropriate” ? I think they’d be at risk of losing their job.
What about a non-teacher? A mental health worker, speech and language pathologist, VP, Principal or Parent? What about those people who might complain? The second they found out that it was a gender expression according to the Board they would feel like they are not allowed to push back or state how completely out of line this is.
But this clearly violates their policies. Do these board policies mean absolutely nothing? Why write them if they’re not going to be reinforced?
Fundamentally children should be protected from having to navigate a situation like this. It is the school’s responsibility to handle classroom safety, and up to now they have not been. We should not be dealing with a situation like this near the end of September, and it certainly shouldn’t have become international news.
The victims here are the students and other teachers who are being made to participate unwillingly in this teachers fetish. This should not be allowed at Ontario schools, or ANY school for that matter.
@OakTrafalgarHS @HaltonDSB how does this attire conform to your dress code standard of “not reinforcing stereotypes”? This is a cartoonish representation of a female physique that does not exist in nature hence it is a parody of biological women and a violation of the code pic.twitter.com/MVb1N41oUj— Mister Accountability (@accountabletome) September 17, 2022
Unfortunately those policies are being ignored. They’re also being ignored at Upper Grand District School Board with regards to their inclusivity policies. They claim that the policies are being followed, even while I prove that they are not. Instead of engaging with the argument they stonewall anyone who speaks up.
The truth is that policies already exist to address this out of hand situation. They should have been used to protect the children much earlier. Any delay in solving this problem is not beneficial to the learning environment of the school. The school’s learning environment should be paramount in this situation.
I think IT is a stunt. Imagine driving a car or eating with these ridiculous props. The wearer will give up eventually.
It could be a stunt. I am shocked at how exposing kids to this in class is okay with the administrators and other teachers. There is no concern?
Thank you for addressing this recent issue Mark. Absolutely disgusting disregard for student safety and yet another example of how the woke culture has everyone afraid of engaging in discussions surrounding gender identity and taking appropriate actions. It has gone way too far. I don’t disagree with one of the earlier commenters that this may be a stunt just to demonstrate how ridiculous things have become but regardless, the board is not doing their job and shutting this down and protecting the students. We need more rational, informed and unafraid voices like yours to force discussion of these types of issues and drive change! Thank you for all that you are doing!