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Malachy O'Kane By permission of Kate O'Kane

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SHARBOT LAKE, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic teenager has been suspended from his Ontario public high school for wearing a sweatshirt reading “There are only two genders.”

Astonishingly, a teacher from that same school called the Children’s Aid Society about the family that day.

Malachy O’Kane, 16, was suspended on April 18, the second day he decided to wear his gender critical shirt to the Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, a village near Kingston, Ontario. He was excluded from school for six days, beginning Friday, April 19.

Malachy was first told to remove his shirt by the school’s vice-principal, Wojtek Czermak, on April 17, after the teenager was called out of his classroom about 30 minutes after the school day began.

“[Czermak] actually had the student counselor who helps talk with all the kids in the room with him,” Malachy told LifeSiteNews. “He said, ‘You can’t wear that.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘It’s considered hate speech.’”

According to the teenager, the school, which serves children from kindergarten to Grade 12, displays ideo-political messaging, including LGBT and Black Lives Matter images, on its walls. Malachy said he remarked to the vice-principal that Czermak was forbidding him to express his own opinion as he stood in front of a BLM poster.

Malachy’s mother Kate O’Kane told LifeSiteNews that she knew that Malachy was going to get resistance when he went to school in his “There are only two genders” shirt. In fact, that resistance came from staff. Malachy told LifeSiteNews that when he arrived at school, many students high-fived him and said they agreed with him but guessed aloud that he would be suspended.

At first, the vice-principal merely remonstrated with Malachy and called the boy’s mother, who was waiting by the phone. Kate stood firmly behind her son, telling Czermak that the young man has “the freedom to express himself” and “the freedom to express his beliefs.”

“You shove the LGBTQ down these children’s throats, and if they say they disagree with you, they’re silenced,” the mother of five recalled telling the vice-principal.

“They’re removed so they can’t be loud, but you’re very loud. It’s all over the schools,” she added.

“I said, if he had shown up wearing a pride flag saying gender is non-binary, he would have been celebrated. But he wears this saying there are only two genders, quietly protesting what he believes. And he is taken out and silenced and removed.”

READ: Catholic school board upholds Josh Alexander’s suspension for opposing gender ideology

According to Kate, Czermak kept telling her to call the school board or remove her son. In the end, Kate picked Malachy up. His supporters at school then created a What’s App group and planned to express their own belief that there are only two sexes the following day.

With his mother’s knowledge – and pride that he was standing up for what he believes in – Malachy wore his shirt to school the next day. His younger brother Desmond and other students wore signs reading “There are only two genders,” which teachers ordered them to remove. Other students wrote “There are only two genders” on their hands. Some of these students, Malachy told LifeSiteNews, were then threatened with suspension or suspended.

Malachy and Desmond both received suspensions to begin the next day. Kate picked up all her children, save Desmond, who wanted to work on a project, from school.

Teacher calls Children’s Aid Society

When Desmond came home, he told his mother he had been contacted by a social worker.

“He said he was talking to his friend venting about life because it’s been stressful lately,” Kate told LifeSiteNews. Overhearing, “his teacher went directly down to the office and called [the Children’s Aid Society] CAS because ‘Desmond was in danger [in] coming home.’ And so after that call was made, CAS called Desmond to say, ‘Are you okay?’”

“And the school kept pressing him,” she continued.  “’Are you in danger? Do you need to stay here? Do we need to keep you here? Are you safe to go home?’”

“He said, ‘I’m perfectly fine.’”

Kate told LifeSiteNews that a week previously she had sent an email to this teacher to express her concern that the teacher was allowing some of her pupils to call her “Mommy.”

The CAS followed up by sending a social worker to talk to O’Kane children at school and then do a home visit. Happily, the home visit had a good result. According to Kate, the social worker determined that her children were “perfectly safe and there was no worry for them whatsoever” and that “they had a good home life and… a mother who fights for them.”

“She even agreed they should stand up for what they believe in,” Kate said.

Proposed enrolment in a special program

Purportedly because Malachy had a “long term suspension” he was assigned to a program at the YMCA in Kingston. However, his mother refused to give her permission for this placement, fearing it was dedicated to her son’s “reeducation.”

“They sent me the paper to sign that he gets put into a learning program in Kingston through the Limestone District School Board, where basically he’s taught how to correct the behavior that… led to his suspension,” Kate told LifeSiteNews.

“So basically they want to reeducate him as to why he is so wrong. I refused.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to both Wojtek Czermak and Carrie Moore, the school’s principal. Neither had responded by press time.

The Granite Ridge Education Centre’s website has this to say about inclusion in its district school board’s schools:

The Limestone District School Board is committed to an equitable and inclusive school climate that ensures all students, staff and members of the broader school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. We want everyone who learns, works or volunteers in Limestone to value diversity, demonstrate respect for others, and commit to establishing a just, caring society. We know that diversity enriches the educational and employment experience of everyone.

The Board champions a welcoming and open atmosphere in our schools to ensure students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, and everyone sees themselves in their physical surroundings, and the broader environment.

Limestone has an Equity and Inclusion Education Administrative Procedure which aligns with Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. This procedure outlines the Board’s programs, guidelines and practices, ranging from curriculum and assessment to religious accommodation, creating a welcoming school climate and preventing discrimination and harassment. The Board provides resources, training opportunities and support to schools to promote equity and inclusive education.

LifeSiteNews has seen documents attesting that Malachy has been suspended for six days and Desmond for four.


To make your views respectfully known, please contact:

Wojtek Czermak, Vice-principal ([email protected]) or

Carrie Moore, Principal ([email protected])

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