Parents of Catholic student who spoke out against gender neutral bathrooms in Ontario school put on leave from teaching positions

Josh believes his parents are now “under attack” simply for having raised him.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

The parents of an Ontario high school student currently barred from education for his views on gender have both been put on leave from their teaching positions and placed under investigation in what appears to be a case of guilt by association.

Josh Alexander, 17, has been suspended and “excluded” from St Joseph’s High School in the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB) since November, after he staged a protest defending the right of female students to single-sex spaces. He also expressed his sincerely held religious belief that there are only two sexes during a classroom debate. Josh believes his parents are now “under attack” simply for having raised him.

"On several occasions I have been detained, arrested, charged, suspended, excluded, threatened, and assaulted. I took a stand. The consequences are mine to bear and I happily accept that. But now they mess with my family? Pathetic tyrants. Will you stand?" Josh tweeted.

In an interview with The Post Millennial, Josh explained that two weeks ago his father, Matt Alexander, who teaches grades 7 and 8, received notice that he had been put on leave and placed under investigation by the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB). No specific reason was given for the decision.

Then last Friday, Josh’s mother, Nicole Alexander, a kindergarten teacher with the RCDSB, was also put on leave and informed that she too is under investigation following a recent incident involving a Pride flag at her school.

Josh told The Post Millennial that an unknown person had put a Pride flag on the door of his mother’s kindergarten classroom, without her permission. Nicole removed it and then went about her day teaching, only to be called into a meeting with the superintendent.

Nicole was informed that someone had reported her and was asked to confirm that she had removed the flag from the door of her own classroom. When she said that she had taken down the flag, she was told that in order to protect students, the school had to put her on leave and under investigation.

Neither Matt nor Nicole have ever commented publicly on the gender issue, or their son’s involvement in the debate. Josh has taken great care to keep his parents out of what he considers to be his fight, even going so far as to withdraw from parental control for the purposes of his appeal against his exclusion from school.

Since being prohibited from receiving an education, Josh has organised events protesting what he believes to be the indoctrination of Canadian students, as well as against drag queen story time.

Josh has filed a human rights complaint on the grounds of religious discrimination. However, the RCCDSB is using policy drawn up by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as reason to exclude Josh from receiving an education, suggesting that Josh’s beliefs amount to “bullying.”

The Ontario Human Rights Commission guidance on bathrooms states that 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.’”

In February, Josh was arrested for trespassing after attempting to attend school.

The Post Millennial has contacted the Renfrew County District School Board for comment.


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