A Canadian teenager was arrested on Monday after he turned up at his rural Ontario school, despite being suspended for expressing his views on transgender policies.
Josh Alexander, 16, was suspended in November from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario – a small town 80 miles west of Ottawa.
Alexander, a devout Christian, said he told his fellow students he believed in only two genders; that students cannot switch between genders; and that students born male should not be permitted into the girls’ bathroom.
The school accused Alexander of refusing to use transgender students’ chosen names and said he could only return to school if he agreed to sit out two classes attended by trans students, who found his views offensive.
‘I expressed my religious beliefs in class and it spiralled out of control,’ he told The Epoch Times. ‘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.’
On Monday, when Alexander tried to return to class, he was detained, he said.
‘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,’ he tweeted.
Alexander’s case is being backed by Liberty Coalition Canada, a group whose lead lawyers says his mission to ‘seek justice, promote truth, and uphold the rule of law, is rooted in his Christian faith.’
James S.M. Kitchen, the chief litigator, wrote to the school principal on January 6 saying that forcing Alexander to deny his religious beliefs was discrimination.
The principal responded by excluding the teenager from school for the rest of the term, arguing that ‘his presence in the school or classroom would be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the pupils,’ The Western Standard reported.
Kitchen said the school also accused Alexander of bullying.
‘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.’
Alexander intends to appeal his original suspension to the provincial human rights tribunal, which would bring his case before a school board panel.