Editor’s Note: A prior version of this article misidentified the teacher in question as Stephen Hanna. Rebel News has corrected the article to display the teacher’s correct name. Rebel News apologizes to Mr. Hanna, who is an entirely separate individual and is completely unrelated to this matter.
At most schools, drag queen story time is just once a year for a few hours. But at Oakville Trafalgar High School, drag queen story time is every time Mr. Lemieux, a.k.a., Ms. Kayla Lemieux, is conducting shop class.
You see, Lemieux is allegedly transitioning into a pseudo-female. But talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. That’s because Lemieux now sports a pair of massive prosthetic breasts — each fake boob is about twice the size of a man’s head and likely about 35 lbs.
Yet the question arises: why would a man hoping to transition into a woman want to turn the end-result into such a spectacle?
Now, if you are getting a sense of déjà vu regarding this story, it is for good reason. You see, it has been misreported for several days that Mr. Lemieux is the same person as Mr. Stephen Hanna, another teacher at this school. However Hanna and Lemieux are two different individuals.
We came to the school on Monday and sought to confirm whether or not Lemieux and Hanna were one in the same. We also reached out to the Halton District School Board via email and paid them a personal visit. We also sent an email to Mr. Lemieux.
For whatever reason, nobody could be bothered to correct the record.
This story had been in the news cycle for at least five days, receiving global coverage. And yet, it was only at 10:18 p.m. Monday night that Heather Francey, the HDSB’s Manager of Communications & Engagement, sent me an email informing us that Hanna and Lemieux are two different people.
But why did the HDSB not correct the record earlier, especially when repeatedly asked?
Is it laziness? Is it incompetence? Is it maliciousness — i.e., did the HDSB want the misinformation to be reported so as to attack the credibility of media outlets that thought Hanna and Lemieux were one in the same? Quite frankly, when it comes to communications, the HDSB is a disgrace. If I was Mr. Hanna, I would be disgusted by the behaviour of this school board.
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In any event, back to the issue at hand: namely, Mr. Lemieux showing up for shop class displaying enormous fake breasts, complete with nipples protruding and see-through blouses.
I initially reached out to Dr. Margo Shuttleworth, a trustee with the HDSB, and she said that the board must accommodate Mr. Lemieux due to guidelines set out by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
For my other questions, she suggested I reach out to via email to Ms. Francey, Curtis Ennis (He/Him), the Director of Education, and Jacqueline Newton, Superintendent of Innovation & Ingenuity; Virtual Secondary Learning, Alternative Learning & International Students.
And I did just that. For the record, here are some of my queries:
- What is the ostensible policy reason for Mr. Lemieux wearing such oversized prosthetic breasts? Some have suggested that he is actually making a mockery of natural women; if so, is this not an act of misogyny?
- Is there perhaps something else at play here? For example, given the outlandish size of his fake breasts, is this a prank being played by Mr. Lemieux? Or, is this possibly an indicator that Mr. Lemieux might be mentally ill?
- It has been suggested that Mr. Lemieux is deliberately trying to get fired so that he can launch an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal case and sue the HDSB. Could this be his motivation for drawing so much attention to himself?
- Numerous photos show that the nipples on Mr. Lemieux's fake breasts are protruding. This is against the HDSB dress code. However, I was informed by Dr. Shuttleworth that the dress code only applies to students, not teachers. Is this indeed correct?
- Photos also depict Mr. Lemieux in shop class using potentially dangerous equipment. The prosthetic breasts would seem to be a hazard; as well, Mr. Hannah is wearing long sleeves which I understand is contrary to workshop etiquette. Has there been any steps taken to address this?
In a statement, the school had this to say:
“As a school within the Halton District School Board (HDSB), Oakville Trafalgar High School recognizes the rights of students, staff, parents/guardians and community members to equitable treatment without discrimination based upon gender identity and gender expression.
“We strive to promote a positive learning environment in schools consistent with the values of the HDSB and to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socioeconomic circumstances or body type/size.”
I also reached out to Ms. Francey, the communications director who barely communicates. I had questions for her regarding the misinformation re: Mr. Hanna and Mr. Lemieux.
- As Communications Officer, why did you allow this misinformation re: Hanna/Lemieux to be reported around the world without correcting the record until late last night?
- Do you regret that you allowed this to happen?
- Has Mr. Hanna asked for an apology from the HDSB given that the board did not immediately correct this misinformation?
- Finally, I understand the dress code does not apply to teachers. However, there are numerous photos circulating that show Mr. Lemiuex is breaching the safety rules of the workshop. Is this going to be addressed?
The Ontario municipal elections slated for October 24. Not very many voters pay attention to those running for school trustee — but they should. And maybe when trustee hopefuls come a-knocking in Halton Region, perhaps parents should ask where they weigh in on Mr. Lemieux's gross spectacle, reasonable accommodation be damned…