Rally for Josh at Renfrew board headquarters

PAFE is fighting back over Josh Alexander's exclusion from his school in Renfrew County Catholic Board!

About 100 people gathered outside the Renfrew County Catholic Board’s headquarters in Pembroke Monday, Feb. 27, 2023 to support Josh Alexander, who was excluded from his school for insisting that there are two genders and for organizing a protest against the board’s washroom “practice,” which is to allow biological males access to female washrooms.

While they stamped their feet to keep warm outside, inside our PAFE “delegate” (speaker) L.J. Helferty pleaded the case that Josh should not be punished for expressing views that align with Catholic teachings about the binary nature of human beings.

He quoted a document from the Institute for Catholic Education explaining that Catholic schools should teach that there are two sexes and should not play a role in affirming a student’s sex change. Helferty was accompanied by a dozen supporters, including Josh and his parents.

The board currently lacks a written policy on washroom usage. Helferty said the board should remedy this immediately, and then suggested a model for the board’s policy: the type suggested in the Archdiocese of Toronto’s guidelines with respect to the treatment of transgender individuals, called "Speaking the Truth in Love.”

"Speaking the Truth in Love" indicates that the policy for Catholic schools should be to offer single sex washrroms, with the addition of single-stall washrooms for the transgendered.

One wonders whether the pricey lawyers hired by the board even looked for Catholic precedents on the matter. 

The trustees greeted Helferty's presentation with stony silence: they had no questions or comments for the speaker whatsoever. The  board said only that they would respond to his presentation in writing. 

The crowd stayed outdoors for about an hour in the frigid temps while the speech was going on inside because the board office has no interior space for the public to be. Leaders from various groups including, in addition to PAFE, freedom groups and pro-life organizations ,addressed the crowd and explained why their groups had chosen to support Josh.

On the part of Parents as First Educators I thanked Helferty for his service and all who braved the cold for coming out to support Josh.

Helferty re-read his speech outside at the prompting of LifeSite News director John-Henry Westen. 

The group prayed for Josh together beforehand and a local priest, Fr. Peter Do, led a Rosary during the delegate’s speech inside.

PAFE devoutly hopes that the delegate’s speech will open trustees’ eyes to the need for the board to stand up for Catholic teaching about gender to prevent students from being put in Josh’s position going forward.

We ask you to continue writing to board trustees to implement a written washroom policy that respects the unique natures of the two sexes.


1) Write or call trustees to demand a written policy stating that washrooms are to be single-sex (closed to the opposite sex), with the addition of single-use washrooms established for students who are living as the opposite sex. 

Remind them that the Archdiocese of Toronto's document "Speaking the Truth in Love" indicates that the policy for Catholic schools should be to offer single sex washrroms, with the addition of single-stall washrooms for the transgendered.

This policy would be appropriately pastoral, true to Catholic teachings and guided by science.

Contact info for trustees – please note that phone numbers ring to the board voicemail service:

Bob Shreader, Chair
[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 506

Susan Artymko
[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 511

Andrew Bray
[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 510

Anne Haley
[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 509

David Howard
[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 507

Pat O’Grady
pat.o'[email protected]
613-735-1032 ext. 508

2) Please forward this email to your friends and ask them to sign our petition supporting Josh Alexander.  CLICK HERE to sign petition.

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  • Teresa Pierre
    published this page in JUSTICE FOR JOSH 2023-03-20 13:53:17 -0400