A Catholic high school student in Canada was reportedly arrested Monday after being suspended for protesting against transgender people’s use of bathrooms and saying there are only two genders – and now he’s appealing to Ontario’s human rights tribunal.
Josh Alexander, 16, said the leadership of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario, told him his continued attendance would be “detrimental to the physical and mental well-being” of transgender students, according to The Epoch Times.
The high school junior tweeted that the Ontario Police arrested and charged him after he attempted to attend class in violation of an exclusion order following his suspension earlier this school year.
“Offense is obviously defined by the offended,” Alexander told The Epoch Times. “I expressed my religious beliefs in class and it spiraled out of control. 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.”
Alexander, who described himself as a “born-again Christian” and led student action in support of last year’s trucker convoy, reportedly has not been to school since he was first suspended in November. He was hit with a suspension for allegedly organizing protests at his school against biological males in girls’ bathrooms and arguing in class that God created two unchangeable genders.
“Multiple students, including trans students, were kind of shouting me down,” the student told The Epoch Times of the classroom exchange.
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
Alexander was told by his principal that he was allowed to return to school only if he stopped using the “dead name,” or given name, of transgender students and excluded himself from classes with two transgender students who objected to his religious views about gender.
Even though it was lifted in January, Alexander’s suspension has effectively continued after the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board “excluded” him for the rest of the school year, according to his legal counsel at Liberty Coalition Canada. Alexander remains unsure whether the technically non-disciplinary action will continue into next year.
Alexander’s lawyer James Kitchen said the school has accused his client of “bullying” transgender students.
“Obviously, he doesn’t actually bully them as that term would be defined by… reasonable people,” Kitchen told The Epoch Times. “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.”
Later this month, Alexander plans to appeal his original suspension to the provincial human rights tribunal, which would bring his case before a school board panel. The appeal has reportedly hit a technical snag regarding whether Alexander is independent of his parents.
The principal of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School told Fox News Digital he was prohibited under Canadian law from commenting on the ongoing case.