A Canadian Catholic high school had a student who objected to its policy of allowing males identifying as transgender using girls bathrooms arrested. St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario, first suspended Josh Alexander, 16, in November for protesting the school’s transgender policy, claiming it constituted “bullying.”
He was suspended again February 6 and arrested for trespassing after trying to attend class, according to a Catholic News Agency report. The report added Mr. Alexander was released from custody but the school continues to prohibit him attending classes through the end of this school year.
Alexander, a Baptist, transferred to the Catholic school from public school.
“Very quickly I was informed by female students that male students were using the female washrooms; this was an issue that came up in class debate and I used that platform to share my opinions as every other student had the opportunity to do, and I quoted some Scripture, I said that there is only two genders,” Alexander explained in an EWTN interview. “And apparently, because there [are] transgender students in the class, this was considered bullying.”
The arrested student said he told administrators his concerns with its transgender bathroom policy but they ignored him. He added that a female student who shared her similar concern with administrators, she was also ignored. So, he organized a school protest for November but two days before the event was scheduled to be conducted, he was suspended.
The November 25 protest still occurred despite a counterprotest organized by groups like Arnpour Pride, Renfrew PRIDE and PFLAG Canada, according to the report.
“My issue wasn’t with the individual students,” Alexander insisted. “I have an issue with the system that is going to encourage this form of misbehavior.”
“I do sympathize with the confused transgender students because they’ve been wronged by their parents and by society and by the education system that has pushed this indoctrination on them,” added Alexander. “But at the same time that doesn’t mean I’m going to condone their wrongful behavior, especially when it’s a violation of my female peers’ privacy.”
The Renfrew County Catholic District School Board manages St. Joseph High School and 20 other elementary and secondary schools in the region.
“Bullying behavior that creates an unsafe space for our students is not tolerated,” Renfrew County Catholic District School Board Director of Education Mark Searson said in a statement. “A trans person should not be required to use a separate washroom or change room because others express discomfort or transphobic attitudes, such as, ‘trans women are a threat to other women’.”
Alexander’s attorney James Kitchen infomed Fox News his client has “limited” legal recourse because Canada’s “much weaker” constitution doesn’t grant its citizens a freedom of speech similar to the U.S. First Amendment.
“There seems to be, culturally and legally, much less respect for individual rights and freedoms and much more interest in government having the power to do what it wants,” Mr. Kitchen said. “But there is legal recourse to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in this case… we think there’s been religious discrimination on the basis of Josh’s Christian religious beliefs, so we’re going to file a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission…”