A schoolteacher in Ireland was banned from his school after he refused to use the pronoun “they” for a student, and when he returned to the school on Monday, he was arrested, according to Irish news website RTE.
Enoch Burke was suspended from teaching at Wilson’s Hospital School while he was under a disciplinary process after he refused to use the preferred pronouns of a student who identified as transgender. He claimed that using “they” pronouns would violate his Christian beliefs. A court issued an injunction which temporarily barred him from teaching, but when Burke returned to the school, he was arrested and taken to prison, according to RTE.
“I am a teacher and I don’t want to go to prison,” Burke told the New York Post. “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. It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school.”
“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,” he added
Burke was initially suspended on Aug. 24, but the court order came down on Friday after he continued to attend school. He defied the court order on Monday, telling them that it would violate his conscience to obey it.
Burke said in court that he loves his students and the subjects he teaches and that he didn’t want to go to prison, but that he would not violate his conscience by participating in the child’s gender transition process, according to RTE.
“To be clear, this teacher was jailed for breaching a court order, not for ‘misgendering’. But that court order barring him from the school because he refused to use ‘they’ for a male student, should never have been granted IMO,” author and commentator on transgender issues Helen Joyce wrote. “Sinister and absurd.”
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