Ireland jails teacher who won't use students' preferred pronouns

The teacher was jailed for defying a court order that prohibited him from teaching or appearing at the school.

Updated: September 7, 2022 - 2:37pm

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Irish authorities have arrested a teacher for violating a court order preventing him from teaching or appearing at a Westmeath school.

A court prohibited Enoch Burke from teaching at Wilson's Hospital School after the administration placed him on leave following his refusal to address a student by his preferred pronouns, according to the New York Post.

Burke continued to come to campus anyway, prompting the school to seek an injunction barring his presence, which he was found to have violated.

Burke was arrested Monday after the judge issued an order for his arrest on Friday after he was found sitting in an empty school classroom, per the Post. A judge sent Burke to Mountjoy Prison, where he will stay pending further orders from the court or the purge of his contempt. 

"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 said in court. 

"I am a teacher and I don’t want to go to prison," he further said. "I want to be in my classroom today, that's where I was this morning when I was arrested."

"Transgenderism is against my Christian belief," he went on. "It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school."

Burke reportedly refused to identify a male student with the pronoun "they" in place of "he," the outlet noted.

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