Board spokesperson Heather Francey told the Toronto Sun in a statement, “While not currently on an active assignment, the teacher remains employed with the HDSB (Halton District School Board).”
Until now, the board had previously supported Lemieux's right to teach while wearing massive fake breasts despite the backlash.
The board’s action came after The New York Post investigated Lemieux and photographed Lemieux without fake breasts and dressed in men's clothes.
It was the photo of Lemieux dressed as a man that led to the teacher being placed on leave by the Board. Lemieux claimed the picture was “not me,” but according to The New York Post, a fellow resident in Lemieux's apartment complex told the outlet, "He wears prosthetic breasts extremely infrequently" and "he puts the breasts on to teach, occasionally when he goes for a walk or when the cops visit."
The Post described an incident where Lemieux was photographed exiting the school dressed in the breasts and wig, went briefly shopping at a department store, went home, and then emerged wearing "men’s sweatpants, trainers, a gray T-shirt and a navy puffer vest without breasts, makeup, glasses or wig."
According to the Sun, Lemieux claimed to have a "rare" condition called “gigantomastia” and that “XX chromosomes” and “hormone sensitivity to estrogen” played a role in this “intersex”-born person growing extra-large breasts, but when challenged to provide a diagnosis to support the claims, Lemieux said “the diagnosis is based on verbal discussions I have had with my doctor,” and “I never requested a note or letter of these findings.”
The outlet added that unless any of Lemieux’s claims could be medically verified there was no path for the teacher to return to the classroom.
On Tuesday, Lemieux was put on paid leave. According to the Sun, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Halton Region MPPs Natalie Pierre, Stephen Crawford, and Effie Triantafilopoulos slammed the board for having “abdicated its responsibility by failing to put the interests and safety of students first.”
After the teacher was put on leave the board replied, “we continue to support the teacher in partnership with OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation.)”
One Twitter user previously wrote, "No surprise here. As we predicted months ago, 'kayla lemieux' is not trans, he's just a pervert. And what he's doing is 100% sexual harassment. I look forward to the day when female students and staff file suit against the school board."
Lemiex entered the international spotlight after photos and video emerged in September 2022 of the teacher during Manufacturing and Technology class at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Oakville, Ontario wearing the gigantic fake bosom, short-shorts, a blond wig, and a tank top.
Parents began protesting soon after Libs of Tik Tok and The Post Millennial Editor-at-Large Andy Ngo tweeted a video from the shop class, noting the school's dress code for students, which read, "Dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing or accessories that display... sexism, vulgarity [and] pornography," says the code. "Dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing that exposes or makes visible genitals and nipples."
Lemieux was spotted skydiving in November, where the wig fell off in mid-air. In December, the Ontario College of Teachers urged the school to ask the teacher to act professionally.
Lemieux continued wearing the breasts despite the controversy and in January, held an event touted as "a space for QTBIPOC folks aged 11-14 to hold spaces with each other as we explore different sources of pressure to change our appearance based on societal values rooted in cisnormativity and colonial beauty standards."
Thee Halton District School Board policy on gender identity and gender expression reads, "The HDSB is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community including students, staff, parents/guardians and community members who identify as, or are perceived as Two-Spirit, Queer, trans, Non-Binary, Intersex, and those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity(ies)."
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