Teacher suspended, then jailed for refusing to use correct pronouns

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By Mark Ellis —

Enoch Burke, a teacher from Ireland, was suspended from school and then jailed for contempt of court for refusing to use a transgender student’s proper pronouns.
RTE News

A devout Christian teacher in Ireland was suspended from teaching, then jailed after he refused to use the correct pronouns to address a student.

Enoch Burke, who taught German, history, and politics at Wilson’s Hospital School was arrested on Monday for violating a court order barring him from teaching at the school, or even being present there, according to a report by RTÉ.

“I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, ‘Actions not words,’ but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl,” Burke told the court.

Judge Michael Quinn found Burke guilty of violating a court order last week and sent him to Mountjoy Prison, where he will stay until either he eliminates his contempt, or the court gives further orders.

Burke was steadfast when confronted with the prospect of jail time, telling the judge that “it is insanity” that he would be taken to prison for essentially refusing to give up his Christian beliefs.

(photo credit: RTE News)

The issue began after the educator refused to address a transitioning student as “they” instead of “he.”

Burke’s refusal to lie about objective reality caused school officials to place him on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

However, Burke refused to stay away from the school, despite an injunction barring him from the campus, or attempting to teach.

On June 2, the judge issued an order to arrest Burke after he was found sitting in an empty classroom at the school.

 

Burke was taken into custody at the school June 5 and taken directly to court, where he told the judge he could not comply with the injunction.

“I am a teacher and I don’t want to go to prison,” Burke told the court. “I want to be in my classroom today, that’s where I was this morning when I was arrested.”

He added: “Transgenderism is against my Christian belief. It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school.”