A Canadian teenager named Josh Alexander was arrested at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario on Monday after showing up for class following a suspension in November over his objection to the school’s transgender policies.
The 16-year-old is a devout Christian, according to the Daily Mail. He told other students that he believed there are only two genders, that students can’t switch between male and female, and that if someone is born male, he should not be allowed into the girls’ bathroom.
The school accused Alexander of refusing to use transgender students’ chosen names which got him suspended. Officials said he could only return to school if he agreed to sit out two classes attended by trans students because they found his views offensive.
“Offence is obviously defined by the offended. I expressed my religious beliefs in class and it spiraled out of control,” he told The Epoch Times in an interview. “Not everybody’s going to like that. That doesn’t make me a bully. It doesn’t mean I’m harassing anybody. They express their beliefs and I express mine. Mine obviously don’t fit the narrative.”
Last night I was informed that I was excluded from my highschool. This exclusion came after notifying the school that I would attend all of my classes even after being permenantly banned from 2. I regarded the exclusion to be unlawful and discriminatory. Today I attended school.
— Josh Alexander (@officialJosh_A) January 10, 2023
In response to my presence at school today, the administrators issued me another suspension as well as a trespassing notice. The suspension and trespass were issued because I disobeyed what I believe to be an unlawful exclusion based soley on religious discrimination.
— Josh Alexander (@officialJosh_A) January 10, 2023
Alexander attempted to return to class on Monday only to be arrested for doing so, “I have just been arrested and charged at my Catholic high school for attending class after being excluded for indicating my intent to adhere to my religious beliefs.”
I have just been arrested and charged at my Catholic highschool for attending class after being excluded for indicating my intent to adhere to my religious beliefs. pic.twitter.com/vTkaSoTnFp
— Josh Alexander (@officialJosh_A) February 6, 2023
Liberty Coalition Canada is defending Alexander’s case. The group contends that his mission to “seek justice, promote truth, and uphold the rule of law, is rooted in his Christian faith,” according to the Daily Mail.
The chief litigator for Liberty Coalition Canada is James S.M. Kitchen. He wrote to the high school principal, Derek Lennox, on January 6 informing him that forcing Alexander to deny his religious beliefs was discrimination.
In response, the principal has excluded the teenager from school for the rest of the term. He asserted that “his presence in the school or classroom would be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the pupils,” according to The Western Standard.
Kitchen also reported that the school is accusing Alexander of bullying.
“Obviously, he doesn’t actually bully them as that term would be defined by reasonable people,” Kitchen told The Epoch Times in an interview. “He’s not going to seek them out and call them names and make fun of them. But he does express his views about what these people say and about what they believe and about what they’re doing. And he expresses them online, and he expresses them in the class.”
(Video Credit: LibertyCCanada)
The Canadian teen intends to appeal his original suspension to the provincial human rights tribunal, which would bring his case before a school board panel. He will also file a complaint this month concerning the suspension.
The appeal is being delayed over the issue of parental independence. Alexander has withdrawn from parental control for the purposes of the appeal. That is a legal designation afforded to students 16 and older under certain circumstances via Canadian law.
The school is objecting, claiming Alexander still lives with his parents and does not meet the definition of the designation.
“He does live with his parents and they have an excellent relationship. He seeks guidance from them and they gladly give it to him. But he runs his own life. And that’s actually by design because that’s how his parents raised him to be,” Kitchen commented, according to The Epoch Times.
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