Josh Alexander v Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

Updated April 11, 2023

Case Description

Liberty Coalition Canada is assisting 17-year-old Josh Alexander. Josh was a grade 11 student at St. Joseph’s High School in Renfrew, Ontario until he was suspended, issued a trespass notice, and excluded for the entire remainder of the 2022-2023 school year by the Principal of St. Joseph’s, Derek Lennox, all because he expressed his Christian beliefs, during class debates and on social media, that there are only two genders, that students cannot switch between genders, and that male students should not be permitted into girls’ washrooms. St. Joseph’s is a public Catholic school, part of the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board.

Kicking Josh out of school for expressing his Christian beliefs regarding sexuality and gender is unlawful religious discrimination. James Kitchen, on behalf of Josh, has submitted an Application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging “creed” discrimination on the part of the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board, Principal Lennox, and two of Josh’s teachers. The Application details the shockingly discriminatory conduct of teachers and students at St. Joseph’s, as well as Principal Lennox’s retaliatory decisions to suspend and exclude for Josh expressing his beliefs and organizing a student walk-out to protest St. Joseph’s policy of permitting biological males to enter and use the girls’ washrooms.

The application also explains how the religious discrimination experienced by Josh at St. Joseph’s not only unlawfully contravenes the Ontario Human Rights Code, but is contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s own policies regarding religious discrimination and what the Commission refers to as “faithism”. Among other things, Josh is seeking from the HRTO a declaration that the School Board discriminated against him on the basis of his Christian beliefs. While Josh waits for his HRTO Application to proceed, he has also invoked the School Board’s policies and procedures to appeal the School Board’s decisions to suspend and exclude him from school. Students’ parents have the right to appeal any student discipline to the School Board trustees. Students have the right to appeal as well, provided they are at least 16 years old and they make their own, independent decisions regarding their education, employment, health, legal representation, etc., and are not under the control and direction of their parents. This state of affairs, in which 16- and 17-year-olds are able to exercise autonomy as they prepare to enter adulthood—and have their autonomous decision-making recognized by the courts, law enforcement, and schools—is referred to as the “withdrawal from parental control.” Josh and his parents love each other and maintain a close relationship, but as is plain to see, Josh is an unusually mature and independent young man who is capable of making adult choices and taking responsibility for those choices. With his parents’ blessing, Josh has “withdrawn form parental control.” However, despite being provided with affidavit evidence from both Josh and his parents that Josh controls his own life, the School Board has refused to hear Josh’s appeals, maintaining that Josh has not in fact withdrawn from parental control and, as such, lacks standing to bring any appeals.

Mr. Kitchen has therefore filed an Application at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to compel the School Board to accept and hear Josh’s appeals. The Application will be heard by the Court in Pembroke on April 27, 2023 at 10AM.

Under the guise of “safety”, as that term has been revised by woke gender activists now pervasive in public institutions, Josh has been penalized for expressing his Christian beliefs regarding gender and modesty, beliefs which also happen to align with both objective truth and actual safety. Josh not only has a right to express himself during class discussions and through public forums, he also has a right not to be discriminated against by his school for his sincere religious beliefs. Being suspended and excluded from attending classes is the height of discrimination.

Josh will continue to courageously stand for his beliefs, for truth, and for girls whose voices of concern over their actual safety are being drowned out by the outraged nonsense of the woke mob, even if that means sacrificing his ability to attend high school.

Please donate to the Liberty Defense Fund, through which LCC provides free legal representation to Josh.

"Sometimes your freedom is not taken away at gunpoint but instead, one piece of paper at a time, one seemingly meaningless rule at a time, one small silencing at a time. Never allow the government or anyone else–to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to do or not do."

- Armando Valladares

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