Josh Alexander v Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

December 21, 2023

Case Description

Josh Alexander 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 and having him arrested  for expressing his Christian beliefs is, among other things, unlawful religious discrimination. Through lawyer and Liberty Coalition Canada Chief Litigator James Kitchen Josh has appealed the School Board’s decisions to suspend and exclude him from school. The appeals should have been heard over half a year ago, but the Board unlawfully refused to accept Josh’s appeals. Josh therefore had to go to court to force the Board to accept and hear the appeals. On August 31, 2023, Justice Hooper of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that Josh’s appeals were valid and that the Board was required to hear them.

The appeals were heard—in secret—by a panel of three School Board trustees on November 15 and 17.

The panel issued its decision on December 18, but, in a shocking turn of events, the panel has purported to order  that the decision itself be withheld from the public. The panel cited “the importance of privacy” as somehow justifying such an outrageous violation of the open court principle, despite the fact no individuals were identified in the decision except Josh. Predictably, the panel of three trustees ruled against Josh. The panel’s decision has all the indicators it was written by a woke activist, such as reference to ideological buzzwords like “deadname” and phrases such as “using the bathroom of the gender to which they identify”. Perhaps most egregiously, the Panel adopted the fallacy that only religious beliefs quietly held inside a student’s head should be protected by the law. According to the panel, religious students who believe in only two sexes, that people cannot change their sex, and that biological boys must not enter the girls’ washroom are not permitted to speak out loud about those beliefs if doing so “disrespects” a transgender student or “makes them feel unsafe”.


The panel goes so far as to effectively make a parody of itself by stating “this Appeal is not about religious beliefs, freedom of expression or any beliefs in general,” and by claiming Josh is not “being disciplined in any way because of his beliefs”. Considering the panel (unlawfully) ordered that Mr. Kitchen not even be allowed to provide the public with the panel’s decision, it would appear even the panel may be aware readers of its decision will struggle to believe this case is not about Josh Alexander’s religious beliefs.


This case highlights how truly Orwellian Canadian society has become. A principal tells his students to deny reality and accept that boys are girls. Then when a Christian student expresses his religious belief that, in fact, boys cannot become girls, the school excludes him, claiming the expression of such beliefs are “bullying”. Then when the student challenges the exclusion, trustees of the school board rule that the exclusion was not in response to the student expressing his religious beliefs, but, just in case someone might conclude otherwise, the trustees then attempt to make the whole thing secret. Josh Alexander, Mr. Kitchen, and Liberty Coalition Canada will further review the decision and consider the available legal options. Readers who want to see the panel’s decision appealed or the panel’s publication ban challenged in the courts are encouraged to donate to the Liberty Defense Fund and/or voice their support.


Josh has also submitted an Application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (HRTO) 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.

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 God’s design of the male and female sex. 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.

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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