Josh Alexander, a Catholic high school student in Canada, has started a controversy after being arrested for protesting against transgender individuals' use of bathrooms and advocating for only two genders.
The officials of St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario, suspended him, claiming that his presence would harm the well-being of transgender students. However, Alexander gave a hard head and attempted to attend class despite the exclusion order, which led to his arrest and charges. The 16-year-old student is now appealing to Ontario's human rights tribunal and continues to assert his beliefs through his tweets.
Student Arrested For Continued Offense
Alexander, the Catholic high school student arrested for protesting against transgender people's use of bathrooms, believes that the concept of offence is subjective and is determined by the individual who feels offended.
In his statement in the Epoch Times, he explains that he expressed his religious beliefs in class and that the situation escalated, leading to his suspension and eventual arrest. Despite this, Alexander feels that he is not a bully or harasser as he expresses his own beliefs, even though they may not align with the dominant narrative. He emphasizes that everyone has the right to express their beliefs, even if they may not be popular or widely accepted.
According to Fox News, Alexander's suspension from St. Joseph's Catholic High School was lifted in January. Still, according to his legal counsel at Liberty Coalition Canada, he remains effectively excluded for the rest of the school year. It is still being determined if the technically non-disciplinary action will carry over into the next academic year.
The school board has accused Alexander of bullying transgender students, which his lawyer, James Kitchen, vehemently denies. Kitchen claims that Alexander does not engage in bullying behaviour, such as name-calling or teasing, but expresses his views on transgender individuals and their beliefs in the classroom and online.
The Principal of St. Joseph's Catholic High School revealed that he could not release a statement regarding the case because he is prohibited by Canadian law.
Also Read: Author-Speaker Urges Faith Leaders To Prepare To Deal With Transgender And Sexuality Issues In Christian Families
The Use of Bathroom Policy Regarding Gender
The attack against transgender and the LGBTQ regarding the use of bathroom issue goes back to last year. In a similar story in Christianity Daily, the Archdiocese of Omaha's revised gender policy, which requires the use of pronouns and facilities based on an individual's biological sex, has faced objections from three of its member schools: Creighton Prep, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, and Marian High School.
The policy has drawn criticism for its potential to harm the mental health and self-esteem of transgender youth and for putting those in transphobic households at risk. However, Fr. Matt Spotts of Creighton Prep argues that it is the school's duty as a Catholic institution to offer pastoral care and sensitivity to all individuals, regardless of their struggles with sexuality and gender.
The policy has raised concerns about the Catholic Church's commitment to its parishioners and whether its stance on this issue is causing a decline in attendance among younger generations. The archdiocese has not commented on why the policy was updated or if it applies to staff and volunteers.
Related Article: Archdiocese Issues Revised Gender Policy Focusing on Biological Sex for Pronouns and Bathrooms